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IBM doles out US$1.3bn for HR software company Kenexa

Looks like Big Blue is going into Human Resources. This morning IBM announced that it was ready to pay US$1.3-billion for HR software company Kenexa.

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According to The Next Web, the computing giant’s offer of US$46 a share represents 42.5% premium to the software company’s Friday closing price.

Kenexa has been around for 25 years and lays claim to some 8 900 customers in 21 countries around the globe. It also acquired Salary.com in 2010.

IBM pitches the Kenexa acquisition as complimenting its “strategy of bringing relevant data and expertise into the hands of business leaders”:

Kenexa, a leading provider of recruiting and talent management solutions, brings a unique combination of Cloud-based technology and consulting services that integrates both people and processes, providing solutions to engage a smarter, more effective workforce across their most critical business functions.

Kenexa complements IBM’s strategy of bringing relevant data and expertise into the hands of business leaders within every functional department, from sales and marketing to product development and human resources. As a result of this synergy, clients will be able to attract and develop the right skills to build the right teams, for the right projects, the first time.

According to The Wall Street Journal, it also cited its own study, which showed that 57% of chief executives think social business is a top priority.

“Every company, across every business operation, is looking to tap into the power of social networking to transform the way they work, collaborate and out innovate their competitors,” said IBM social business General Manager Alistair Rennie.

IBM expects the deal to close some time in the fourth quarter.