May 18, 2016 / 9:50 PM / 3 years ago

Software group Nice Systems to buy inContact for $940 million

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli software provider Nice Systems (NICE.TA) is to buy U.S.-based inContact SAAS.O, a maker of cloud software for call centers, for about $940 million.

Nice (NICE.O) said on Wednesday it would pay $14 per share in cash and would finance the deal with cash on hand as well as debt of up to $475 million. Shares in inContact closed at $9.01 on Nasdaq on Tuesday.

Nice said the rationale for the purchase was to enhance customer service and offer what it described as a first fully integrated and complete cloud contact center where companies can interact with customers.

Chief Executive Barak Eilam said the two companies were combining their contact center applications and analytics with cloud contact center technology.

Nice expects to close the deal before the end of 2016 and expects the acquisition will be accretive to earnings on an adjusted basis in 2017.

Shares in Nice were up 1.3 percent at 250 shekels ($65.18) in Tel Aviv.

Guy Rosenschein, analyst at Israeli investment house Psagot, said Nice was using its cash to make a large strategic deal, which was very important for expanding its operations in the customer analytics sector.

The acquisition will help Nice, which currently focuses on very large financial companies, to expand into the mid-market and also expand its product range, he said.

Nice has pinned its hopes for faster growth on analytical tools, which allow companies to delve into large amounts of data to spot fraud and fend off security threats. Sales growth has slowed for systems that help call centers and provide surveillance of buildings and transport networks.

The deal still needs regulatory approvals and inContact shareholders’ approval.

RBC Capital Markets (RY.TO) and JP Morgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) advised Nice while Jefferies LLC, a unit of Leucadia National Corp LUK.N, advised inContact.

Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; additional reporting by Liana B. Baker; Editing by Jane Merriman and David Gregorio

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