Monday, November 01, 2004

Manugistics prepping itself for the auction block?

Speculation is growing that Manugistics may be preparing itself for sale. The latest hint is Manugistics' adoption of a shareholder rights plan, otherwise known as a poison pill, which it said was intended to prevent "unfair takeover strategies." PeopleSoft is currently using its own poison pill defense in its battle to prevent a takeover by Oracle.

In the case of Manugistics, however, analysts are speculating that the poison pill is intended to give Manugistics leverage in negotiations with prospective buyers, while frustrating hostile bidders.

Manugistics has had a rough few years. In the late 1990s, it was one of the two or three top names in supply chain management. But license revenue has been dropping since 2000: down 12% in 2001, 20% in 2003, and 3% in 2003, according to Gartner.

Among possible buyers, the most interesting is PeopleSoft. PeopleSoft, of course, is in the midst of fighting its own takeover battle with Oracle. But acquisition of Manugistics would make PeopleSoft bigger and more difficult for Oracle to acquire, in addition to shoring up PeopleSoft's own SCM offerings.

Other companies that are mentioned as possible buyers of Manugistics include Oracle, which has said that it will continue its acquisition strategy regardless of what happens with PeopleSoft; Manhattan Associates, which has been particularly strong in the supply chain execution space--combining with Manugistics would fill out Manhattan's offerings nicely; SSA Global Technologies, which already owns EXE, another strong supply chain execution product.

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Leading SCM vendors continue to tank
Manugistics V7 seeks to deliver profit optimization in small bites

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