IBM Buys SPSS For $1.2 Billion

ARMONK, N.Y. (AP) -- IBM Corp. said Tuesday it agreed to acquire SPSS Inc., a Chicago-based company that makes software to help businesses spot future trends as well as shifts in consumer patterns and behavior, for $1.2 billion.

Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM said the acquisition of SPSS for $50 per share will boost its business-analytics technology, which can also be used to help reduce credit risk, increase customer loyalty and detect and prevent fraud across diverse industries, it said.

The deal represents a 42 percent premium to SPSS closing price Monday of $35.09. The news of the deal sent SPSS shares soaring in premarket trading on Tuesday, and it recently changed hands at $49.11, up $14.02, or 40 percent. IBM shares shed 46 cents to $117.17.

SPSS software predicts customer reactions, including to sales pitches and marketing campaigns. Clients include financial firms, telecommunications companies, government agencies and educational institutions.

The deal is expected to close later in the second half, subject to approval by SPSS shareholders and regulatory clearances.

Separately, IBM also said it has acquired Ounce Labs Inc., a privately held software company in Waltham, Mass., for an undisclosed amount. IBM said the company makes software that helps businesses reduce the risk and costs associated with security and compliance concerns.

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