SAP could be on the acquisition trail, hints co-CEO

SAP could be gearing up for a shopping spreed, after co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe told a German newspaper that one-third of revenue growth should come from acquisitions.
Written by Jakob Jung, Contributor on

SAP co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe has hinted that the company is still on the acquisition trail.

While denying that the company has any immediate plans for takeovers, he outlined the long-term strategy for SAP in an interview with Germany's Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper: "Our long-term growth should be made up of two-thirds by organic strength and one-third by acquisitions."

SAP has indicated it may be on a buying spree. Image credit: SAP

Acquisitions are the only way to make rapid progress in new areas of business, according to Snabe. "We do not buy market share. We buy the future," he added.

The company hasn't been shy of big buys of late: in May, it purchased business process management software Ariba for $4.3bn (£2.7bn) and in December last year, it bought up HR software vendor SuccessFactors for $3.4bn.

The newly bulked-up SAP just this month surpassed Siemens as Germany's most valuable company, and reported its best-ever second quarter in July.

However, SAP isn't immune to the ongoing macroeconomic problems in Europe: "The situation has become more difficult. But we still have wind in our sails," Snabe told the paper.

However, the co-CEO said many enterprises are deciding to invest in software in times of crisis and he is "sure we will achieve our goals" for the year. SAP's targets for 2012 include boosting software and service-related revenue by between 10 and 12 percent year-on-year.

And, despite Facebook's ongoing stock price saga, Snabe revealed he sees the social network as a good example for SAP, but stressed the differences in approach. "We are solving more important problems than Facebook. We do not make toys, but we will become Facebook for enterprises," he said.

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