Infor buys Workbrain for $227M

Company says it will use acquired technology to build out its HCM lineup

Acquisitive midmarket applications player Infor Global Solutions is at it again. The company announced Monday plans to purchase Canadian online workforce management software vendor Workbrain Corp. for around US$227 million in cash.

Infor's offer represents a 25.6 percent premium over Workbrain's Friday's average share price on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Workbrain's board has unanimously approved the deal, according to a release. Subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals, Infor expects to close the transaction in June.

Workbrain's customers include British Airways PLC, General Mills Inc. and Target Corp.

Infor plans to use Workbrain's software to expand its existing human capital management (HCM) software particularly in the areas of time and attendance, scheduling, absence management and workforce planning.

HCM is an increasingly popular set of ERP (enterprise resource planning) applications which help companies automate their human resources processes, from the initial hiring of a new employee through to tracking that individual's performance while working for the organization.

Earlier this year, when Oracle Corp. announced major upgrades to its families of enterprise applications, the vendor highlighted new HCM features including talent management in its PeopleSoft Enterprise 9.0 ERP software.

By purchasing SSA Global, Extensity and Systems Union last year, Infor grew its annual revenue to $2.1 billion, putting the company in third position sizewise behind longer established players Oracle and SAP AG.

While the market for enterprise applications has tended to be a two-horse race between Oracle and SAP, the midmarket is highly fragmented and those companies and Infor as well as Microsoft Corp. and Lawson Software Inc. are all aggressively competing for users' hearts and minds. Infor defines the midmarket as customers with annual revenues of between $50 million and $2 billion.

Founded in 2002 as Agilisys, Infor has purchased more than 18 companies to date and is funded by private equity firm Golden Gate Capital. The company has over 70,000 customers for its ERP, CRM (customer relationship management), asset management and analytics software.

In February, Infor announced it had bought Profuse, a provider of consulting services in Belgium and the Netherlands for Infor's ERP LN and Baan software, for an undisclosed sum. Infor acquired the LN and Baan products through its $1.4 billion purchase of SSA Global last year.