Softworld Special – US giant plain about success.

Great Plains expects Microsoft to complete its buy-out of the company before the end of the year. The prediction came as the deal received the green light from the Securities and Exchange Commission after it ruled in favour of the transaction.

Speaking at Softworld, David Langridge, European sales director, told Accountancy Age: ‘Microsoft has traditionally been concerned with standard desktop and operating systems.

‘But its strategy now is to get business processes talking together. This is why it was attracted to Great Plains. The acquisition looks likely to be completed later this year.’

The deal is also set to move another step closer after it was revealed Great Plains shareholders will vote on the proposed buy out at a meeting set for the end of the month, expected to be a formality. Both parties have received notice of the decision and Great Plains expects the deal to be closed early in Microsoft’s fourth fiscal quarter.

Software giant Microsoft’s determination to move into the business applications market lead to bid for of the US-based, mid-market provider, in what is believed to be the second largest deal in Microsoft history.

In a stock purchase valued at #747.1m, each share of Great Plains common stock will be exchanged for 1.1 shares of Microsoft common stock.

Until recently, Microsoft’s plan for the business market focused on supplying business customers with a platform and letting them choose ‘best of breed’ solutions from among the many different applications available.

From a strategic point of view, Microsoft also hopes to integrate Great Plains into its much-hyped .NET platform, which will provide a new generation of business applications across the internet.

.NET solutions will be delivered to PCs, terminals, handheld and wireless devices and deployed either as web-based services or as on-premise, locally managed solutions, according to business needs.

It was identified by Microsoft president and CEO Steve Ballmer as one of the company’s seven business priorities following a lowering of its revenue forecast for the current quarter.

Once the acquisition is complete, Great Plains will become the Great Plains Division and will continue to develop, market and support its business management solutions.

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