Enterprise applications market continues to consolidate

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The ongoing consolidation in the enterprise applications market continued this week following ChannelWave’s merger with Aqueduct and Northgate Information Solutions’ proposed reverse takeover of the Rebus HR Group.

The former transaction has led to the creation of a new entity, dubbed ChannelWave Inc, which will house ChannelWave’s partner relationship management and CRM packages alongside Acqueduct’s managed business-to-business and business-to-consumer service offerings for the manufacturing sector.

The joint company has about 100 customers, predominantly in the high-tech, telecommunications, manufacturing and automotive markets, and intends to target what it describes as “unmet market demand for integrated channel management and commerce”.

The merger came about as a result of discussions between the two companies about a partnership deal.

Northgate, meanwhile, has purchased an exclusive option for £5 million to acquire the Rebus HR Group, which provides human resources (HR) and payroll software and outsourcing services. The deal would value RebusHR, including debt, at about £150 million and has led to the suspension of Northgate’s shares in accordance with The Listing Rules of the UK Listing Authority.

If Northgate exercises the option, it will merge RebusHR’s assets with its own existing HR software and services business, with the aim of enabling it to compete more effectively against global applications suppliers. Northgate said it expects to generate “significant costs savings” if the proposed purchase succeeds.

But this is not the firm’s first HR acquisition this year. In June, it bought payroll processing company, Cara Payroll Group, for £13.4 million and last month, it purchase PWA Group, the small HR software arm of Microsoft for £2.5 million in cash and £1.7 million in net liabilities.

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