SAP to buy compliance software firm Virsa

The planned buy is an all-cash transaction, but Virsa and SAP didn't disclose the purchase price or other financial details

SAP AG is to acquire compliance software company Virsa Systems, it announced Monday. The move is yet another purchase designed to fill the gaps in SAP's software portfolio, this time in the area of enterprise risk management, a market segment that SAP hopes to dominate.

In contrast to rival Oracle, with its multibillion dollar purchases of PeopleSoft and Siebel, SAP has steered clear of large-scale acquisitions, preferring to concentrate on buying smaller software players that focus on specific industries or technologies.

Subject to the approval of antitrust authorities, SAP hopes to complete the acquisition of Virsa in May. The planned buy is an all-cash transaction, but Virsa and SAP didn't disclose the purchase price or other financial details.

Virsa's compliance software helps companies monitor and enforce business controls in real-time across their enterprise and legacy systems. The aim is to ensure continuous compliance with regulations, including the Sarbanes-Oxley rules governing U.S. public companies and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) federal standards for U.S. health-care information.

The two companies already have a close relationship. SAP has been reselling Virsa's Compliance Calibrator as an add-on to its mySAP ERP (enterprise resource planning) software for just over a year. Additionally, SAP Ventures, the company's venture capital arm, is an investor in Virsa.

SAP made the announcement Monday at Virsa's Simplify user conference in Las Vegas.

Virsa, founded in 1996, has its headquarters in Fremont, California, and employs around 250 staff in the U.S., Australia, Germany, India and the U.K. SAP is likely to keep the Virsa offices around the world open, according to a release. Virsa has more than 300 enterprises using its software equating to 2.5 million end users.

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