Genesys to buy Interactive Intelligence for $2 billion

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Genesys to buy Interactive Intelligence for $2 billion

Hopes to fight off contact centre rivals.

Privately-held contact centre company Genesys will buy Interactive Intelligence for about US$1.4 billion (A$1.9 billion) as it looks to build scale in the face of fierce competition in the telecommunications software and equipment industry.

The US$60.50 per share offer is at a 36 percent premium to Interactive' s close on July 28, a day before Reuters reported that the company was considering strategic alternatives.

Shares of Interactive Intelligence closed 5.6 percent higher at US$59.85 today.

Interactive Intelligence provides software that helps call centre operators analyse data and improve customer service calls. It counts Coca-Cola, Sony and Kohl's as some of its major customers.

Genesys, whose customers include online payment processor PayPal and Red Hat, intends to fund the deal through a combination of cash on hand and debt.

The company is also in talks to buy the contact centre business that its peer Avaya is hoping to sell for more than US$4 billion.

When asked about that potential deal, Genesys chief executive Paul Segre declined to comment on the matter but said the company is "not looking at or contemplating big M&A" at this time.

Genesys received US$900 million in investment last month from private equity firm Hellman & Friedman LLC, valuing the company at US$3.8 billion. It is also owned by Permira Advisers LLC. Segre said the investment helped the company pursue the acquisition of Interactive Intelligence.

Interactive Intelligence posted operating losses in recent quarters as it shifted its business model to the cloud, and being private will help it spur along this transition, Segre said.

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