IBM said on Monday it would buy Canada's Cognos Inc for $5 billion, snapping up the last of the major makers of business intelligence software.
The deal was expected after SAP AG bid for Cognos rival Business Objects in October and Oracle acquired Hyperion Solutions earlier this year.
All three targets make software that analyzes businesses by combing through vast amounts of data.
IBM said it had signed a definitive agreement to buy Cognos for $58 a share.
IBM said the all-cash deal was subject to shareholder approval and should close in the first quarter of 2008.
"IBM has been providing Business Intelligence solutions for decades. Our broad set of capabilities ? from data warehousing to information integration and analytics ? together with Cognos, position us well for the changing Business Intelligence and Performance Management industry. We chose Cognos because of its industry-leading technology that is based on open standards, which complements IBM's Service Oriented Architecture strategy," said Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive, IBM Software Group.
Software is the fastest-growing and most profitable division of IBM. IBM also uses software products to get customers to buy its consulting services and hardware.
Cognos, based in Ottawa, has about 4,000 employees and more than 25,000 customers. It is IBM's 23rd acquisition.