Oracle to Buy Australian Software Maker Aconex

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Aconex’s board said it would unanimously recommend the offer to shareholders

MELBOURNE, Australia-—Oracle Corp. has struck a $1.2 billion deal to buy an Australian project-management software provider, the latest leg in its push to take on Inc. and others in selling cloud-computing services.

The California-based software company on Monday said it had entered a binding takeover agreement after offering 7.80 Australian dollars ($5.96) cash a share for Aconex Ltd. ACX 44.23% , valuing the Australian company at A$1.6 billion.

Aconex offers an online collaboration platform for construction and engineering projects, allowing contractors, project managers and builders to share documents and work together on projects.

With the addition of Aconex, Oracle said it could offer a comprehensive cloud-based project management solution for a $14 trillion industry.

“Delivering projects on time and on budget are the highest strategic imperatives for any engineering and construction organization,” Mike Sicilia, senior vice president and general manager of Oracle’s global construction and engineering business unit, said.

The 40-year-old company has spent billions of dollars over the past few years to transform itself into a seller of web-based services. That has helped it emerge as one of the few pre-internet tech giants to succeed in the era of cloud computing, although Oracle shares fell after hoursFriday after it said the growth of its cloud business in the current quarter would fall below expectations.

The bid price marks a 47% premium to Friday’s closing price for Aconex, and a more than fourfold jump on the 2014 initial public offering price for Aconex’s shares.

Aconex’s board said it would unanimously recommend the offer to shareholders and intends to vote a collective 14% stake in favor of the bid. The deal is expected to close in the first half of next year, subject to certain regulatory approvals.

“The Aconex and Oracle businesses are a great, natural fit and highly complementary in terms of vision, product, people and geography,” Leigh Jasper, Aconex co-founder and chief executive, said.


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