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IBM buys Aprimo rival Unica Corp.

August 21, 2010

One of Aprimo Inc.’s big competitors has been snapped up by … gulp … IBM.

Waltham, Mass.-based Unica Corp., which has 500 employees, this month said it will be acquired by Big Blue for $480 million.

Both Unica and Aprimo are leaders in the realm of marketing software and services. Aprimo, whose customers include Bank of America and Warner Bros., shelved a $50 million initial public offering in 2008 amid a deteriorating economy.

Aprimo executives apparently spent little time on the ledge after learning big, bad IBM was buying its rival.

Godfrey Godfrey

“We at Aprimo are excited about this acquisition as it validates our position that marketing must become a top priority for businesses and is in the midst of a revolutionary change,” Aprimo CEO Bill Godfrey said in a statement issued Aug. 13.

“The market for marketing solutions and integrated marketing software is hot and growing.”

Aprimo has more of a product focus on business-to-business marketing than does Unica, which is known more for the business-to-consumer side.

Twelve-year-old Aprimo has about 365 employees, including 250 at its East 96th Street headquarters. Revenue last year hit $69 million, up 15 percent.

Some industry observers say Aprimo may be the next to be acquired, although it might be Aprimo doing the acquiring. The latter might require dusting off the old IPO plan.•
 

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