Saba to Acquire Halogen Software in 2017’s First Big HR Technology Deal

By Rick Bell

Feb. 23, 2017

Saba Software acquiring Halogen Software
The HR tech space saw its first major deal of 2017 as Saba Software is acquiring Halogen Software. Illustration by Anna Jo Beck

While consolidation in the HR technology space isn’t much of a surprise anymore, Saba Software’s announced acquisition of Ottawa, Canada-based Halogen Software was a bit unexpected.

The deal, worth a reported $293 million, is expected to close in the second quarter of 2017.

Though it’s certainly not on the scale of cloud-based talent management software blockbusters like 2012’s $1.9 billion Oracle-Taleo deal or 2011’s $3.4 billion SAP-SuccessFactors acquisition, this could be the next wave in smaller companies building broader HR technology suites.

The thinking could be that bigger indeed is better. According to a joint release, the deal “will extend Saba’s position as a leading provider of end-to-end SaaS talent management solutions. Combined, Saba and Halogen will serve more than 4,000 customers worldwide, and together, increase value to the customers they serve with the strength, size and scale to deliver rapid innovations in talent management.”

Saba’s expertise lies in the L&D space, while Halogen’s software focuses on performance management. Not surprisingly, the release noted that the deal combines learning and performance in a way not yet realized in the market.

“Saba has a clear vision for the future of talent development and understands the powerful role learning and engagement experiences play in driving individual and business performance,” said Pervez Qureshi, CEO of Saba, which was acquired by private equity firm Vector Capital in 2015. “Combining Saba’s unrivaled learning and engagement capabilities with the proven innovation Halogen brings to performance management, we expect to accelerate delivery against this vision and rapidly create new value for our joint customers. This strong foundation for growth and innovation and our combined expertise will enable Saba to meet the ever-changing workplace needs of people and help organizations more effectively adapt, perform and thrive.”

Michael Slaunwhite, executive chairman of Halogen, was equally as effusive of the deal. “We have built Halogen into a market leader in performance management by investing in the talented and innovative team that began here in Ottawa more than 20 years ago.I look forward to joining forces with Vector Capital and Saba. Together, we have the opportunity to scale faster and lead the way in performance, learning, and engagement and expand our global impact.”

Rick Bell is editorial director for Workforce. Comment below or email

Rick Bell is Workforce’s editorial director.

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