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JDA, QRS to merge retail apps in $100 million deal

Retail application developers are hoping that the all-stock merger will save them up to $25 million in costs.

Retail application developer JDA Software Group said on Thursday that it is buying QRS, a provider of software for managing retail business data, in a stock deal worth $100 million.

Under the deal, which the companies expect to close by the fourth quarter, each QRS shareholder will get half a share of JDA stock. Based on Wednesday's closing price for JDA stock of $12.25, the deal is valued at $100 million. About 20 percent of the outstanding capital stock of the combined company will go to QRS stockholders.

This is the 10th acquisition for Scottsdale, Ariz.-based JDA, which specializes in software for automating business processes and managing the flow of goods in the retail industry. With 33 offices worldwide, it has a reported customer base of 10,000 retail and manufacturing customers.

Richmond, Calif.-based QRS, on the other hand, develops products for global data synchronization, transaction management and global trade management, targeting the general merchandise and apparel (GMA) industry. Having what it says is approximately 4,500 clients in 60 countries, it has also developed an electronic product catalogue in North America that lists more than 100 million items.

"With advancements in radio frequency identification (RFID) and other collaborative initiatives, the industry is heeding the call for increased efficiency and accuracy in the exchange and update of item and supply chain information," JDA Chief Hamish Brewer said in a statement. "While QRS is the de facto standard for data synchronization in the U.S. GMA industry, we see a huge growth opportunity in other world regions and market segments--in particular, food and consumer packaged goods."

The deal should add to JDA's bottom line for fiscal 2005. The combined annual revenue of the two companies, as of March 31 this year, were in excess of $340 million. Direct costs of the acquisition and the costs of the ensuing integration of the two organizations are expected to be between $15 million and $17 million.