Workbrain bought in US$227 million deal


Acquisitive mid-market applications player Infor Global Solutions is at it again. The company announced this month plans to purchase Canadian online workforce management software vendor Workbrain Corp. for around US$227 million in cash.

Workbrain’s board has unanimously approved the deal, according to a release. Subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals, Infor expects to close the transaction in June.

Workbrain’s customers include British Airways PLC, General Mills Inc. and Target Corp.

Infor plans to use Workbrain’s software to expand its existing human capital management (HCM) software particularly in the areas of time and attendance, scheduling, absence management and workforce planning.

In a conference call, Workbrain chief executive David Ossip said the firm’s board went looking for suitors late last year, including Infor, but decided earlier this year to remain as a standalone entity. The subsequent Infor offer, he said, was unsolicited.

“We’ve all seen that size and scale does matter,” he said, though he refused to comment on whether Workbrain got any other offers from Oracle or SAP. “We did run a thorough process that was supervised by the independent members of our board.”

HCM is an increasingly popular set of ERP (enterprise resource planning) applications which help companies automate their human resources processes, from the initial hiring of a new employee through to tracking that individual’s performance while working for the organization.

Earlier this year, when Oracle Corp. announced major upgrades to its families of enterprise applications, the vendor highlighted new HCM features including talent management in its PeopleSoft Enterprise 9.0 ERP software.

Founded in 2002 as Agilisys, Infor has purchased more than 18 companies to date and is funded by private equity firm Golden Gate Capital. The company has over 70,000 customers for its ERP, CRM (customer relationship management), asset management and analytics software.

Infor CEO Jim Schaper said they already had some HCM components, but Workbrain adds expertise around time, attendence and absence management.

“When you look at the Workbrain cross-section of customers, they overlay quite nicely with our vertical markets,” he said, including government and retail. “This will become our HCM Centre of Excellence.”

— with files from Shane Schick

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