Oracle announced plans on Monday to acquire a Columbia, Maryland-based maker of cash register and reservation systems for $5.3 billion in a deal that would allow the technology giant to gain a foothold in the retail and hospitality sectors.

Founded in 1977, Micros Systems counts 1,000 employees at its headquarters, and another 5,600 in offices around the country and globe. Its point-of-sale technology is installed at some 567,000 establishments worldwide, including department stores, restaurant chains, casinos, cruise ships and stadiums. Some of its brand-name customers include Marriott International, Starbucks, Burger King and Ikea.

Redwood City, California-based Oracle has become one of the world's largest business software concerns in part by acquiring companies that give it greater reach into new markets.

"Oracle has successfully helped customers across multiple industries harness the power of cloud, mobile, social, big data and the internet of things to transform their businesses," Oracle President Mark Hurd said in a news release. "We anticipate delivering compelling advantages to companies within the hospitality and retail industries with the acquisition of Micros."


Under the deal, Micros stockholders would receive $68 for each share of common stock they hold, about a 3.4 per cent premium from Friday's closing price and a nearly 16 per cent premium from early last week, when word of a possible transaction began to circulate. The $5.3 billion deal would be worth $4.6 billion after accounting for the cash Micros holds.

An Oracle spokeswoman declined to comment beyond a news release.

Gil Luria, managing director at Wedbush Securities, said that in purchasing Micros, Oracle acquires a company that has seen its revenue and income grow in each of the past five years. Micros has also expanded, albeit slowly, into emerging markets beyond North America and Western Europe in recent years.

The company ended the first three quarters of the fiscal year with a net income of $56 million, a 13 per cent increase from $49.6 million during the same period last year. Micros is scheduled to release its annual financial report next month.

"They have the capacity to grow more if Oracle invests in geographic expansion and expansion into adjacent markets," Luria said.

Young, tech-savvy firms have been gradually chipping away at retail and hospitality markets as they serve up new ways to process payments, manage inventory and engage with guests on mobile platforms and through social media.

That competition has forced providers like Micros to come out with ever-more innovative products that can keep pace with technology trends, such as cloud computing, data analytics and mobile devices.

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"In combination with Oracle, we expect to help accelerate our customers' ability to innovate and differentiate their businesses by utilising Oracle's technologies, cloud solutions and scale. We are very excited about the great opportunities this will create for our customers and employees," Peter Altabef, Micros president and chief executive, said in a news release. The company has not returned calls seeking comment.

The Micros board unanimously approved the acquisition and, pending regulatory approval, the deal is expected to close during the second half of the year.

This is the second local purchase for Oracle in the last two years. In December 2012, the company scooped up Vienna, Virginia-based Eloqua for $871 million. Eloqua helps companies analyse visitors to their website and identify those most likely to make a purchase.

- Washington Post