Activant Solutions Inc. agreed to acquire the Intuit Eclipse Distribution Management Solutions business from Intuit Inc.

Over the past three years, Activant Solutions, Livermore, Calif., has acquired several of its competitors, including Trade Service Systems and Prophet 21. The company also acquired Speedware Corp. in 2005, which included the Prelude Systems operating system. With the acquisition of Intuit Eclipse, Activant now competes against two large enterprise-resource planning (ERP) software companies in the distribution market: SAP, Walldorf, Germany; and Infor, Atlanta. Several smaller firms also focus on this industry.

Activant Solutions provides business management solutions to small and medium-sized businesses in three primary vertical markets: wholesale distribution, hardlines and lumber, and the automotive parts aftermarket. Activant Solutions also provides software and related services for IDEA's IDW2, a central repository for pricing and product data for the electrical wholesaling industry.

Activant Solutions has more than 30,000 users. The company has operations in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Intuit Eclipse, Mountain View, Calif., provides business management solutions for distributors in segments ranging from electrical, plumbing, HVAC and building materials to industrial, janitorial and other durable goods supplies. Intuit had revenue of $2.3 billion in its fiscal year 2006. The company has more than 8,100 employees and major offices in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Activant has identified the wholesale distribution industry as a key vertical segment for the company's growth. The acquisition of the Intuit Eclipse business will augment its customer base and expand its technology offerings in this segment.

Under the terms of the agreement, Activant will pay Intuit approximately $100 million in cash, subject to certain adjustments, to purchase the Intuit Eclipse business.

IDEA has had a nine-year relationship with Activant, and a contract with Activant to be its service provider for both IDX2 and the IDW2. Mike Rioux, former president of IDEA, said the acquisition of Eclipse would “greatly facilitate” IDEA's ability to interface its products via the industry data warehouse and industry data exchange with the Eclipse customers.