Friday, June 18, 2004

Second thoughts on Geac and Intentia

Last month, I wrote about Intentia's new CEO, Bertrand Sciard, who came from Geac and speculated that Geac might be an acquisition target for Intentia. However, one reader, who is familiar with Sciard from his days at Geac, wrote to me with a different perspective,
I came across your website because I was looking for information about Bertrand Sciard's move from Geac to Intentia....From what I know of Bertrand, I think Intentia have got themselves a good CEO.

However, I am puzzled by your suggestion that Intentia might buy Geac. Surely Geac is much stronger financially than Intentia, and if there was any deal between the two companies it would be the other way around. I am sure that Geac has looked at Intentia in the past, but after the way that the JBA deal turned out I think they started to be more careful. These days they are using S21 and the old Dun & Bradstreet software as "cash cows" to finance investment in Business Intelligence and related software.

I suppose there is a small chance that Geac could sell the System21 business to someone, but I doubt that Intentia could afford it. Bertrand will also know that one of the things that brought down JBA was an over-ambitious strategy in the States, and I don't think that he would want to make the same mistakes again!
I'm not sure that an acquisition by Intentia is out of the question from the financial perspective. Both companies are in the $400M USD revenue range, although Geac is currently profitable and Intentia is not. However, because the writer is closer to the situation at Geac, I'll give some weight to his opinion and say that an acquisition by Intentia is probably a long shot, at least until Sciard can accomplish a turnaround at Intentia.

Related posts
Intentia, MAPICS, SSA, and Geac--what's the deal?

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