And yet another acquisition: Descartes buys InterCommIT [update]

November 9, 2011  |  Electronic Invoicing

Descartes Systems Group has bougt InterCommIT. InterCommIT is one of the biggest and oldest Business to Business integrators in the Netherlands. With outposts in several other European Countries.

InterCommIT is headquartered in Amersfoort, the Netherlands, and has approximately 40 employees. The all cash purchase price for the acquisition was EUR 10.1 million (approximately USD $13.8 million at November 2, 2011). This announcement follows the recent announced acquisitions:

  • b-process (by Ariba)
  • Tradeshift (partially by Russian VC ru-NET)
  • Fundtech (by an investment company)
  • Crossgate (by SAP)

What did Descartes buy exactly?

What do we know about InterCommIT. Well quite a lot frankly. That is because we are based in the Netherland and so is InterCommIT, and we got to know Peter Veenman, one of the co-founders of InterCommIT.

  • InterCommIT is one the biggest Netherlands-based EDI providers. (We learned that some call that now:  “business-to-business (B2B) integration-as-a-service.” Wow)
  • InterCommIT also has a stronghold in some other European countries. So it is not solely Dutch based.
  • Currently InterCommIT server more than 800 customers by helping them connect and collaborate with trading partners of size or technological sophistication and to seamlessly exchange data electronically.

So Descartes bought a network of customers that are extremely well served thanks to a real gem of a technical network. We wonder to what extend Descartes noticed the technical sophistication of that network.

Quotes

What is a proper press release without quotes? So here they are:

  • Edward Ryan, Chief Commercial Officer at Descartes:
    ”By adding InterCommIT’s technology and services to our Logistics Technology Platform, our customers have access to a broader scale and scope of document-critical functionalities that are key to efficient supply chain and logistics operations.”
    = we bough additional functionalities”In particular, InterCommIT expands Descartes’ network capabilities, enhances our logistics application footprint in Web EDI, e-invoicing, e-document, and e-catalogue solutions, and adds a large number of European retailers and suppliers to our logistics community.”
    = we bought a network with customers
  • Arthur Mesher, Descartes’ Chairman and CEO:
    ”With our combined technology and services, including InterCommIT’s domain expertise in e-commerce and its strength with retail supplier communities and financial and insurance institutions, the Logistics Technology Platform is in an even stronger position to serve our customers.”
  • Peter Veenmand, CEO and Co-founder of InterCommIT:
    ”We feel content with the acquisition and are focussing on integrating InterCommIT into the Descartes platform.”

Update: added Tradeshift to the list of acquisitions as they received € 17 million funding from a Russian VC called ru-Net. We humbly consider that as a partial acquisition.


4 Comments


  1. The author of this blog post don’t know the difference between and investment and an acquisition (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venture_capital) Tradeshift has not been bought by a “bunch of russians” and is still very much independent (controlled by founders), but have raised some capital in an investment round, something both Ariba, OB10, Basware and many others also have done without being “acquired”.

    Btw. other companies who got money from a “bunch of russians” this year include Facebook, Twitter and Zynga

  2. Hello Christian Lanng,

    Thank you for your valuable input.

    In our opinion, when a company invest money in another company, they want something in return. Good chance that that is a certain amount of shares, that they can sell at a higher price in the near future (the exit). So, a VC performs a partial acquisition of a company.

    But he, good for you and your team. Congrats.

    Greetings

  3. I’m sorry, but it’s simply incorrect to mistake an investment and an acquisition in an the latter there is a change of power, which is rarely in the case in the former. Mentioning Tradeshift in that context in an article which is about 100% acquisitions is simply misleading.

    If you want great coverage of the investment I suggest reading http://blogs.wsj.com/tech-europe/2011/10/25/tradeshift-secures-17-million-funding/

  4. Suppose: one does an investment. The investment can be done through several instruments: acquisition, merger, buying a certain % of shares and so on. You can do a partial acquisition where there is no change of power. So, someone does a funding in a company and he or she receives shares in return. If he doesn’t he/she is an idiot. By receiving shares he or she buys a piece of a company = partial acquisition. It is all so simple.

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