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SAP to bring Callidus aboard in $2.4bn acquisition

For Q4 2017, SAP said it was on its way to successfully transforming its operating margin.

By Sabrina Dougall

SAP is shooting for sky-high cloud sales success after signing a $2.4bn deal to acquire Callidus Software.  Europe’s biggest software company has made its first purchase in almost four years in taking on the software firm specialising in “Lead to Money” (Quote-to-Cash) cloud sales solutions.

With the new acquisition, SAP will be able to expand its cloud services offerings, taking on Callidus’ know-how in cloud-based sales, marketing, learning, and customer experience solutions. The company also takes on the sales performance management (SPM) and configure-price-quote (CPQ), segments in which Callidus, trading as CallidusCloud, specialises.

Callidus’ board unanimously agreed to the acquisition at a share price of $36, a 21% premium over the firm’s 30-day average. SAP will fund the transaction through existing cash and an acquisition term loan, with completion expected in Q2 2018.

The buyout follows a Q4 2017 in which SAP which saw some success but narrowly missed market expectations. A survey of 16 Thomson Reuters analysts roused expectations of a €2.41bn non-IFRS operating profit (constant currency), yet the cloud giant actually attained €2.37bn, a 6% increase overall.

In Q4 2017, SAP said it was on its way to successfully transforming its operating margin. The firm highlighted its 7,900-strong S/4HANA customer base, representing a 46% increase year over year. In addition, the firm’s cloud subscriptions and support revenue saw a 26% boost (28% cc), totalling €3.769bn IFRS and €3.771 Non-IFRS.

“We ended the year strongly with new cloud bookings surging 31% on top of a stellar prior Q4,” said Luka Mucic, CFO, “This paves the way for the strong growth and margin expansion we expect in 2018 and beyond.”

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SAP’s 2017 operating profit was €4.88 billion (IFRS) or €6.92 billion (non-IFRS at constant currencies. Overall, new cloud bookings swelled by 22% (31% at constant currencies).

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“We promised fast cloud growth – we delivered!” said Bill McDermott, CEO in the statement. “Only SAP continues this growth trifecta at scale with cloud, software and operating income.”

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