Shares of Art Technology Group Inc. (ARTG) are higher on the session by more than 45 percent on news that Oracle Corp. (ORCL) agreed to buy the eCommerce software provider for approx. $1 billion in cash, or $6 a share. ATG shares printed as high as $6.01 in pre-market trading, just above the offer price and a level last seen in 2001, indicating that investors don’t expect another bidder to emerge.
In a prepared statement, Thomas Kurian, Oracle executive VP, said, “Organizations across many industries are looking for a unified commerce and CRM [customer relations management] platform to provide a seamless experience across all commerce channels. Bringing together the complementary technologies and products from Oracle and ATG will enable the delivery of next-generation, unified cross-channel commerce and CRM.”
The ATG deal, which is subject to stockholder and regulatory approval, is expected to close by early 2011.
Separately, ATG reported results for the third quarter. The Cambridge Massachusetts – based co. had sales of $50.3 million in the third quarter of 2010, up 16 percent from $43.4 million a year earlier. Excluding stock compensation and acquisition impacts, profit rose to 5 cents from 4 cents p/sh.
ARGT gained $1.86, or 45.37 percent, to $5.96 at 11:45 a.m. ET in Nasdaq composite trading. Oracle advanced 20 cents, or 0.69 percent, to $29.33. About 7.2 million shares changed hands as of 11:47 am ET.