Microsoft completes Navision acquisition

Microsoft Corp. has completed its acquisition of Danish software company Navision A/S in a stock deal valued at US$1.45 billion, the Redmond, Washington, software giant announced Thursday.

Microsoft will now merge the Vedbaek, Denmark, company into its Business Solutions division, it said in a statement.

In May Microsoft first announced its intention to buy Navision, which develops business planning software for small and medium-size companies. Microsoft will continue to develop, market and support Navision’s business applications, including the renamed Microsoft Navision Axapta, Microsoft Navision Attain, Microsoft Navision C5 and Microsoft Navision XAL products, Microsoft said.

Navision rival The Sage Group PLC, of Newcastle upon Tyne, England, opposed the deal. Sage asked the Danish competition authority to request a European Commission investigation into potential anticompetitive behavior by Microsoft and Navision, highlighting the possibility that Microsoft could flush smaller software companies out of the market by bundling Navision’s accounting applications with its own software and then flooding the market at a low price.

Last month, the Danish watchdog announced it would not ask the European Commission to investigate, in effect giving the green light to a deal between Microsoft and Navision.

Navision’s co-chief executive officers (CEOs), Jesper Balser and Preben Damgaard, will stay with the merged company as director of global strategy and director of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) operations respectively, Microsoft said.

The Microsoft Business Solutions division is run by Doug Burgum, senior vice president of Microsoft and former chairman and CEO of U.S. business software developer Great Plains Software Inc., which Microsoft acquired last year for $1.1 billion. As with Navision, Great Plains was a creator of software for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs).

While Great Plains gave Microsoft a strong U.S. presence in the SMB market for business planning software, the addition of Navision will give Microsoft a presence it previously lacked in the EMEA market, Microsoft said. The acquisition will help Microsoft compete more directly on the European market with German enterprise software provider SAP AG.