IBM to buy Netezza

IBM has announced an agreement to buy analytics outfit Netezza in a deal which values the company at a whopping $1.7 billion.

Netezza specialises in providing a high-performance analytics engine in an appliance which, the company claims, can be up and running in just a few hours - and which offers a speed boost of between 10 and 100 times compared to traditional systems.

Clearly, IBM likes the sound of that - and is putting its money where its mouth is in a deal for $27 per share, valuing Netezza at a not-inconsiderable $1.7 billion, adjusted for cash.

The purchase comes as a recent study by IBM showed that 83 per cent of chief information officers at large corporates identified analytics as a top priority topic - putting IBM in a good position to offer the full package to its customers should the deal go through.

Netezza has a history of working with IBM - the company builds its appliance platform on IBM systems technology, and has partnered with Big Blue in the past to get precisely what a particular client needs up and running.

Steve Mills, IBM Software's senior vice president, claimed that the deal was a case of IBM "bringing analytics to the masses," and that "together, [IBM and Netezza] have the opportunity to quickly leverage the technology and accelerate the offering [of analytics]."

As usual, the deal is dependent on shareholder and regulatory approval - but assuming that Netezza's shareholders want to get rich, it's likely to go ahead over the next few months.