Oracle Buys Carleton Corporation to Enhance Warehouse Offering

  • Written By:
  • Published:

Event Summary

"REDWOOD SHORES, Calif., and MINNETONKA, Minn., Nov. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Oracle Corporation (Nasdaq: ORCL) and Carleton Corporation (Nasdaq: CARL) today announced that the two companies have signed a definitive merger agreement for Oracle to acquire Carleton, an early innovator of data quality and mainframe data extraction software for customer-focused data warehousing applications. The acquisition will be effected through a cash merger pursuant to which holders of Carleton common stock will receive approximately $2.45 per share or $8.7 million in the aggregate. The parties anticipate closing the transaction by the end of February 2000, which is subject to approval by Carleton's stockholders and certain other closing conditions". The offer values Carleton shares at $2.45 a share, which is less than the stock's closing price on Monday of $2.56.

According to Michael Howard, vice president of Oracle's Data Warehouse Program Office, "It increases our ability to provide better knowledge to customers; it's a big win for Oracle. There's a lot of dirty data about customers today; it's stored in a fragmented way. The Carleton software can clean it up. This is a top priority for e-businesses."

Carleton was founded in 1979 and marketed a product called Passport, which was an early leader in extract/transform/load tools for data warehousing. It was a strong contender with customers who had mainframe legacy data such as sequential files and VSAM. In 1997 Apertus Corporation acquired Carlton, and the new company became the Apertus Carlton Corporation. Apertus was a supplier of data cleansing and integration software. The product of this merger became Carleton Pure*Extract (data movement) and Carleton Pure*Integrate (data cleansing and validation). In September, Carlton secured a working capital line of credit from Silicon Valley Bank of Santa Clara, California in order to continue its growth strategy. Carlton had problems with their market capitalization, and their 52-week low stock price at the time of the announcement was $1.00 per share. .

Market Impact

TEC predicted Carlton would be acquired in the news analysis "Data Warehouse Vendors Moving Towards Application Suites", September 29, 1999. With this acquisition, Oracle gains access to both the data extraction/transformation and the data cleansing technologies. Oracle has traditionally had their customers use Oracle gateways to access mainframe data, so it is very probable that the data cleansing technology is what they were after for inclusion in Oracle Warehouse Builder. Carleton has been an obvious takeover candidate for some time because of their financial problems. Oracle is the second vendor to acquire data cleansing technology recently, as Ardent Software acquired Prism and its QDB data cleansing technology earlier in the year. More vendors will need to add this feature to their suite, so TEC reiterates the prediction that the remaining data cleansing vendors, such as Vality and Trillium, will be courted vigorously by the remaining extract/transform/load vendors such as Computer Associates and Sagent.

User Recommendations

Companies should include Oracle Warehouse Builder on any long list of vendors for data warehousing solutions. However, they should keep in mind that the product was already eight months late before this announcement and has been reported to still lack "critical functionality" needed in production environments, according to a confidential report by Honeywell, Inc. on a pre-beta version of the software in mid-September. The fact that Oracle now intends to include the Pure*Extract and Pure*Integrate functionality is likely to slow development even further.

comments powered by Disqus