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IBM to buy SPSS for US$1.2b

INTERNATIONAL Business Machines Corp plans to buy technology services company SPSS Inc for about US$1.2 billion in cash, the companies said yesterday.

SPSS shareholders will receive US$50 a share, a 42 percent premium to Monday's closing price of US$35.09 on Nasdaq.

Chicago-based SPSS provides predictive analytics software and services. Predictive analytics are used by companies to forecast future trends and spot shifts in consumer patterns, helping them control costs and use resources more wisely.

IBM said the deal will help expand its Information on Demand software portfolio and business analytics capabilities.

The deal values SPSS at about 25 times analysts' estimated 2010 earnings per share, and the US$50 per share price represents an all-time high for the stock, topping its previous all-time top of US$47.87.

The deal is subject to SPSS shareholder approval and regulatory clearances, and is expected to close later in the second half of 2009, the companies said.


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