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IBM snags marketing software specialist Unica Corp for $480m; Unica shares up by 117%

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Technology giant IBM (NYSE: IBM) has agreed to acquire Nasdaq-listed Unica Corporation (Nasdaq: UNCA), a provider of marketing software solutions, for a price of $21 per share, or approximately $480 million in all-cash transaction, causing Unica`s share price to soar by 117% to $20.76 in early morning trading.

Unica, based in Waltham, Massachasuetts, is expected to help IBM expand its capabilities in helping organizations better predict customer preferences and developing more targeted marketing campaigns.

The new parternship will help clients streamline and integrate key processes including relationship marketing, online marketing and marketing operations, IBM said.

Unica has more than 1,500 global customers across a wide range of industries including financial services, insurance, retail telecommunications, travel and hospitality. Customers include Best Buy, eBay, ING, Monster, Starwood and US Cellular.

"IBM understands the demands on today's organizations to transform core business processes in functions such as marketing with intelligence and automation," said general manager of IBM industry solutions, Craig Hayman.

Unica is the latest acquisition following IBM`s recent purchase of Sterling Commerce and Coremetrics in IBM`s expansion strategy to meet the increasing demands of companies looking to manage, automate and accelerate business processes across marketing, sales, and various other departments.

Unica's 500 employees will be integrated into IBM's Software Solutions Group. Specifically, Unica software unit will work with IBM's business analytics and optimization consulting organization - a team of 5,000 consultants and a network of analytics solution centers.

The acquisition is still subject to Unica shareholder approval as well as regulatory and customary closing conditions. It is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Quick facts: International Business Machines Corp.

Price: 134.09 USD

NYSE:IBM
Market: NYSE
Market Cap: $118.79 billion
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