by CIO Staff

SAP CEO Wants Co. to Remain Independent, Avoid Acquisitions

May 30, 20062 mins

SAP Chief Executive Officer Henning Kagermann said Monday that the company intends to remain independent and sees no reason to grow through acquisitions as its closest rival, Oracle, has done.

Merger rumors swirled after SAP cofounder and supervisory board member Hasso Plattner said earlier this month that only three companies were capable of buying the German business software market: IBM, Microsoft and Google.

“We are independent and we are pretty strong, so there’s no reason why we should not continue,” Kagermann said ahead of the company’s European Sapphire customer event in Paris, according to published reports. His comments were confirmed by company spokesman Tony Roddam.

To expand into the market for business software, database maker Oracle has made a string of acquisitions, including JD Edwards, PeopleSoft and, most recently, Siebel Systems. The company is working on a new product, Fusion, which aims to unite the products from its takeovers.

Kagermann has said repeatedly that SAP will make smaller acquisitions to fill gaps in its product portfolio, but has no intention of buying market share through any large company purchases.

That policy, however, could be put to the test in China and India, where SAP aims to establish a stronger position.

At the company’s Sapphire event in Orlando earlier this month, Plattner and Leo Apotheker, SAP board member and president of customer solutions and operations, signaled their growing concern about Chinese rivals and their interest in expanding in this crucial Asian market.

Sapphire Paris runs through Thursday.

-John Blau, IDG News Service

For related news coverage, read SAP Reaches Out to Chinese, Brazilian Users, Whirlpool Whirls into Web Services and Q&A: SAP Looks to Replicate U.S. Success.

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