In a surprise move, Ariba announced this morning that they were selling their sourcing services and BPO businesses to Accenture. At the time of the announcement, it was not clear whether all of these assets would end up with Accenture’s BPO group or their consultancy organization (within Accenture, unlike other large hybrid consulting/BPO organizations, the lines between the divisions are somewhat blurry). According to the announcement, “upon the closing of the acquisition, Accenture will take ownership of these assets, which include Ariba’s category expertise, sourcing process expertise and strategic sourcing execution resources, strengthening Accenture’s position as a leading provider of sourcing and procurement consulting and outsourcing services.”
The company press release suggests “approximately 160 Ariba employees are expected to join Accenture upon the closing of the transaction.” The deal is not yet closed, but Ariba forecasts closing by the end of the December quarter. Accenture is buying these assets for $39 million up-front, with an additional “$12 million of which is subject to escrow to be released based on the assignment and performance of certain assets.” The earn-out that is part of this agreement will no-doubt incent Ariba to refer services business to Accenture, potentially at the expense of other services partners.
In a letter to Ariba employees this morning, Bob Calderoni told his staff that “As you all know, Ariba has its sights set on a lofty goal: to become the leading platform for business-to-business commerce. And in order to do this, we must focus on developing and delivering on-demand solutions that enable companies to buy, sell and manage their cash more efficiently and effectively. In support of this vision and mission, we have made a strategic decision to sell our sourcing services and business process outsourcing (BPO) business to Accenture, one of the world’s largest and most successful management consulting, technology services and outsourcing companies.”
Bob continues: “Under the terms of a definitive agreement announced this morning, Accenture will take ownership of Ariba’s sourcing services business … Our customers will continue to receive the services they have contracted for and will benefit from Accenture’s deep expertise and extended global reach. In addition, Ariba will provide access to Accenture’s services through the Ariba Commerce Cloud, enabling companies seeking additional resources and expertise to support their strategic sourcing efforts to tap them as needed.”