Oracle: The giant moves quietly in M&A

Contact: Brenon Daly

For a giant of a company, Oracle certainly strikes quietly when it moves to pick up some companies. Consider its latest purchase, the as-yet-unannounced acquisition of data-quality vendor Datanomic. Although Oracle hasn’t formally announced the purchase, the company does have it listed on its Web page for acquisitions. (That listing followed speculation by several market sources last week that Oracle had indeed sealed the deal.)

Oracle has already shown that it is ready to spend to buy in the data-quality market. A little more than a year ago, Oracle reached for Silver Creek Systems, an OEM partner that provided product-oriented data quality. Shortly after that transaction was announced, my colleague Krishna Roy speculated that Datanomic might be the next data-quality-related vendor to get snapped up, highlighting both Oracle and IBM as possible buyers for the UK-based company. We believe that Big Blue did look at Datanomic, which it considered a nice complement to the business it got when it bought Initiate Systems in early 2010. (Initiate had an OEM arrangement with Datanomic.)

Fittingly for a deal that wasn’t really announced, financials also weren’t revealed. Our understanding is that Datanomic had been posting strong growth recently, increasing revenue some 60% last year to about $15m. That rate, combined with the fact that there were undoubtedly other large bidders for Datanomic, make us absolutely confident that this transaction is significantly larger than Oracle’s related purchase of Silver Creek, which we estimate went off at $40m or so. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised to hear that it was in the neighborhood of twice that amount.