SAP CEO rules out big acquisitions in next few years

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 19, 2014 6:26 AM

BARCELONA (Reuters) - German business software maker SAP <SAPG.DE> is doing an about-face on its acquisition strategy and plans no more big new deals in the next few years, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

Asked about potential acquisitions, SAP's Chief Executive Bill McDermott said emphatically: "Faced with a choice of stepping up or stepping it down, we are going to step it down."

"If we do something it will be tuck in. It will probably put you to sleep," McDermott said at Morgan Stanley's annual European Technology, Media and Telecoms Conference in Barcelona. SAP is in the process of buying expenses software maker Concur <CNQR.O> for $7.3 billion, which is its largest acquisition ever and has earned SAP criticism for paying a rich multiple. That deal is set to close in the next three weeks, McDermott said.

He said that he would lay out a growth plan for each year and each business for 2015 through 2020 in January. "We are very confident for the future," he said.

So far this quarter SAP is dealing with a similar macroeconomic environment as it did in the third quarter, McDermott said, adding that the United States and Europe were pretty steady, with the exception of Russia.

(Reporting by Eric Auchard; Writing by Harro ten Wolde; Editing by Maria Sheahan)