IBM Buys Data Warehousing Appliance Maker Netezza For $1.7 Billion

Data warehouse appliance company Netezza had been rumored to being close to getting acquired for a while, and this morning it turned out IBM is the one on the buying side.

Big Blue is acquiring the company in cash transaction at a price of $27 per share or at a net price of approximately $1.7 billion, after adjusting for cash.

Netezza, which boasts approximately 500 employees around the world, provides high-performance analytics in a data warehousing appliance.

The acquisition of Netezza expands IBM’s information and analytics offerings, including services available through IBM’s Business Analytics and Optimization Consulting organization. Following the close of the acquisition, IBM intends to integrate Netezza within its Information Management software portfolio.

IBM says the acquisition, which is subject to Netezza shareholder approval and other customary closing conditions, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Provided we don’t see another bidding war like the HP-Dell-3PAR one, that is.

(On a sidenote, Dell was almost certainly also vying for Netezza, which would mean it lost another acquisition battle).

Netezza and IBM are longtime strategic partners (but also competitors), having both focused on workload optimized systems that deliver integrated systems, software and storage for analyzing vast amounts of complex data. Today, Netezza says it designs and develops its appliances on IBM systems technology and IBM software, powering many applications within organizations.

Netezza says more than 350 clients across a variety of industries have adopted its technologies to date, including companies like eHarmony, Time Warner, NYSE Euronext, Virgin Media and others.

Last month, Netezza posted strong growth in second-quarter net income and boosted its revenue outlook for the year to about $248 million (an expected growth of 30 percent).