SPSS Inc., which IBM plans to acquire for $1.2 billion, has been courted by two other companies in the past year, according to an SEC filing Monday. But IBM appears to be the most hungry for SPSS's predictive analytics technologies.
Throughout six months of negotiations, SPSS dug in its heels on a sale price of $50 per share, despite IBM's initial offer of 30% below that final price.
IBM hasn't been the only one pursuing SPSS. In May 2008, according to the acquisition proxy statement, an unnamed entity, "Company A," offered to acquire SPSS at a "substantial premium" above its stock price. But SPSS's businesses was strong at the time, and it had concerns about Company A's ability to raise substantial amounts of cash to complete the purchase. While SPSS directors didn't find the offer "compelling," they decided keep the talks going with Company A. A month later, SPSS began talking with "Company B" about a "strategic business combination," and in July 2008, talk progressed into a possible acquisition or merger. Meanwhile, Company A refused to enter into a customary standstill, meaning it wouldn't sign an agreement that would prevent it from making unsolicited offers for SPSS. By September, talks with both Companies A and B had died.
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