US computer giant IBM is to buy software maker Ascential for $1.1bn (£580m) to boost its "information integration" business.
IBM will offer jobs to Ascential employees
The deal, expected to complete in the second quarter of 2005, is subject to approval by Ascential shareholders.
Massachusetts-based Ascential provides systems to help firms integrate complex data to streamline operations.
IBM said it will offer employees of Ascential, whose shares were up 16% on Monday, jobs within the company.
"Information integration is an important enabler of an on-demand business strategy," said IBM software executive Steve Mills.
"Customers are increasing their investments in software that allows them to rapidly analyze, consolidate and extract value from the business data".
Ascential saw revenue rise 46% to $271.9m in 2004.
It has more than 3,000 customers and partners across all major industries.