Monday, August 18, 2003

SSA is buying EXE Technologies

EXE is a well-regarded provider of supply chain execution and warehouse management systems. The company was formed as the result of the merger of Dallas Systems and Neptune Systems in 1997. The company went public in 2000. In the most recent quarter, EXE had a loss of $822,000, on revenue of $19.8 million. SSA GT is offering just over $47M for EXE, significantly less than its last year's sales of $70M.

EXE Technologies is generally considered one of the Tier I players in the warehouse management space, although it has been losing ground to Manhattan Associates over the past three years. I evaluated EXE's EXceed offerings a few years ago and was quite impressed with their functionality. But with EXE's weak financial position, the acquisition by SSA makes sense. SSA makes no secret of its strategy to acquire weaker vendors. And EXE surely has been having a rough go of it these past few years. On the other hand, SSA already has a good warehouse management system in its portfolio, in Warehouse BOSS. But Warehouse BOSS is limited to the IBM iSeries (formerly AS/400) platform, whereas EXE claims deployment across all of IBM's hardware platform. In fact, IBM is a strategic partner for EXE. This fits well with SSA's strategic alignment with IBM.

There's a press release on SSA's Web site. The same press release appears on the EXE web site.

Interestingly, starting early this morning, before any news reached the wire, the Spectator suddenly began getting web site referrals from Google for users doing searches with the words "SSA," "exe" and some variation of the word "acquisition." Obviously, the word got out before the announcement.

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