Microsoft Corporation has offered approximately $1.2 billion USD for the acquisition of the Norwegian software firm Fast Search & Transfer, a leading provider of enterprise search solutions.
The transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2008, as the board of Fast has unanimously accepted the takeover offer from Microsoft.
The complete details of the offer, including all terms and conditions, will be drafted in the document expected to be sent to FAST shareholders sometime around January 14th.
Fast Search & Transfer aka FAST focuses on data search technologies. It operates in the enterprise search sector but has over the course of 2007 significantly moved out of this business and towards search monetization and on-line advertising related business. Also Fast offers a number of search-derivative applications, focused on specific search use cases, including publishing, market intelligence and mobile search.
“Enterprise search is becoming an indispensable tool to businesses of all sizes, helping people find, use and share critical business information quickly. Until now organizations have been forced to choose between powerful, high-end search technologies or more mainstream, infrastructure solutions. The combination of Microsoft and FAST gives customers a new choice: a single vendor with solutions that span the full range of customer needs,” said Jeff Raikes, president of the Microsoft Business Division.