The Work

November 2, 2010 3:21 PM

Davis Polk, Foley Hoag Advise on Oracle's E-Commerce Deal

Posted by Claire Zillman

Oracle Corporation will purchase e-commerce software provider Art Technology Group, Inc., for $1 billion in a deal announced Tuesday

The Redwood City, Ca.-based business software giant will pay $6 a share for ATG, which represents a 46 percent premium on ATG's stock price as of the close of trading on Monday, according to the joint statement issued by the companies. 

The ATG acquisition is the first deal that Oracle has announced since it hired former Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd as one of two company presidents. For representation, Oracle turned to regular outside counsel at Davis Polk & Wardwell. (For its last major deal--the $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems--Oracle tapped Latham & Watkins.)

The Davis Polk deal team was led by partners Julia Cowles and William Kelly. According to her firm bio, Cowles previously advised Oracle on its $685 million acquisition of Phase Forward Incorporated. Kelly, meanwhile, worked on Oracle's successful $10 billion bid for PeopleSoft and its 2006 purchase of Siebel Systems Inc. for $5.85 billion, according to our past reporting. Kelly did not immediately return a request for comment. 

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based ATG relied on Foley Hoag partner Robert Sweet, Jr., and associate Daniel Clevenger. Sweet previously represented ATG in its acquisitions of Primus Knowledge Solutions and eStara, according to his firm bio. He did not immediately return a request for comment.

Through its purchase of ATG, Oracle will enter the e-commerce software market, where it currently has little presence, reports The Wall Street Journal. The deal is in line with Oracle CEO Larry Ellison's plans to expand Oracle's portfolio by buying software companies that cater to niche industries, according to The New York Times. The e-commerce market is expected to grow 25 percent by 2017 as businesses find new ways for their customers to purchase products online and through their mobile devices. ATG counts AT&T, Best Buy Co., and Continental Airlines as its customers, according to the Journal. 

The deal is expected to close early next year and is subject to stockholder and regulatory approval. 

In addition to Cowles and Kelly, the Davis Polk team included partner Rachel Kleinberg, counsel Cynthia Akard, and associates Stephen Salmon, Zhimin Lin, Jeffrey Lau, and M. Ryan LaRosa. Oracle senior corporate counsel Allen Seto also worked on the negotiations. 

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