Intuit Inc. (INTU) said it has agreed to acquire software company Demandforce for approximately $423.5 million in cash, as the tax-software maker looks to grow its customer base among small- and medium-sized businesses.
The deal, seen closing in May, is expected to add 1 to 2 points to Intuit's revenue growth in fiscal 2013 and to be neutral to modestly dilutive to earnings in fiscal 2012 and 2013.
Intuit, which makes TurboTax and QuickBooks, said the acquisition accelerates the company's expansion into high-value software as a service products for small businesses. San Francisco-based Demandforce's email, mobile and social tools -- which include online reviews-- help small businesses automate marketing and customer communications. Intuit noted Demandforce has achieved strong traction in industries like dental, automotive, spas, optometry and chiropractors.
Intuit has expanded beyond desktop software into delivering online software and services for tasks from tax preparation for households to small-business payroll processing. Users like the convenience and mobility of online services and Intuit has found the Internet to be an ideal tool for identifying customers' other needs and selling them additional Intuit offerings.
The company in February reported its fiscal second-quarter profit climbed 62% as its shift to online services generated better-than-expected revenue for its tax business and on strong sales in its payment products for businesses.
Shares closed at $57.60 Thursday and were inactive premarket. The stock is up 9.5% so far this year.
-By Nathalie Tadena, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3287; firstname.lastname@example.org