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Oracle to buy Primavera for project portfolio management

Following its purchase of a maker of 3D visualization software for retailers, Oracle is getting into portfolio management with its purchase of Primavera.

Oracle said today it will acquire Primavera Software Inc., a provider of project portfolio management (PPM) applications.

Terms of the deal were not announced, but the transaction is expected to close before the end of the year.

Bala Cynwyd, Pa.-based Primavera makes software that helps companies propose, plan and manage complex projects and project portfolios.

Oracle will pair Primavera with its own portfolio management capabilities under one global business unit that will target project-intensive industries like engineering and construction, aerospace and defense, utilities, oil and gas, manufacturing and professional services.

Just one of 47 Oracle acquisitions since 2005, the Primavera deal is far closer to Oracle's last acquisition of Advanced Visual Technology Ltd., which makes 3-D space planning software for retailers, than its bigger acquisitions like PeopleSoft, Siebel and BEA.

Primavera CEO Joel Koppelman is expected to lead the Oracle business unit as senior vice president and general manager.

"Enterprise PPM is moving to the forefront of business strategy for industries managing complex and capital intensive projects, and has emerged as a global driver for value creation and business success," Oracle President Charles Phillips said in a statement.

Yet, according to Ray Wang, vice president and principal analyst at Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc., there's a lot of opportunity for Oracle. While big construction, utilities and engineering companies will get value from a combined Primavera, Oracle sees an opportunity for expansion.

"In this industry, PPM was the one category of project-based solutions that had done really well because of these large projects, but the software does a lot more," Wang said. "Primavera is the granddaddy in this market. And it's a bigger market than just PPM. That's a piece that everybody forgets. This stuff can be used in asset management and professional services."

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