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Instant Analysis: Tradeshift to Acquire IBX Business Network

Today, March 8, San Francisco-based Tradeshift, the cloud-based business network, announced that it has entered into an agreement with CapGemini to acquire the latter’s IBX Business Network (“IBX”). The deal is expected to close in April 2017. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Concurrent with the announcement, Ardent’s analyst team spoke with Christian Lanng, and the executive team at Tradeshift to discuss the deal and post-acquisition plans. A more detailed analysis of the announcement and that discussion will follow.

IBX is a Sweden-based provider of procurement and network solutions. The company was one of the original Commerce One Networks and has undergone a series of transformations over the past fifteen years, shifting its solution strategies and evolving its customer focus. IBX was acquired by CapGemini in early 2010 and was to serve as a key part of the acquirer’s procurement BPO go-to-market. CapGemini’s acquisition strategy never fully-blossomed and IBX continued forward, albeit quietly the past seven years.

Tradeshift states that the newly combined network will connect more than 500 combined global enterprise customers with access to 27 million SKUs from nearly 1.5 million suppliers around the world. (Interested readers can also read our Recap and analysis of Tradeshift’s Innovation Day last summer). Bringing IBX into the fold will complement Tradeshift’s commerce platform with one of Europe’s larger business networks. The company estimates that, within 12 months, the platform will support $500 billion in transactions driven by this acquisition, new customers, and strong growth in markets like China.

Lanng noted that the IBX acquisition is Tradeshift’s largest to date and will almost certainly be its most complex. Lanng believes that Tradeshift’s platform and general approach will enable a relatively fast migration of both the buyers and suppliers to the new platform and updated applications, offering compelling new benefits to both groups of trading partners. Beyond the trading partners and catalogs, the acquisition will also see the migration of IBX’s sourcing- and procurement-centric applications and functionality onto the Tradeshift platform.

This is a nice, opportunistic acquisition with Tradeshift gaining both transaction and network heft as well as mature procurement-focused solutions and expertise (including 155 employees). A more-detailed analysis of this announcement is also planned. Watch for it here.

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