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Cornerstone to buy talent management developer Saba

The $1.4 billion deal is just the latest in a recent string of HR technology merger announcements.
By: | February 25, 2020 • 3 min read

Consolidation in the benefits and HR and benefits technology continues with another announced acquisition by a people development software-maker.

Cornerstone OnDemand, a California-based cloud learning, talent management and talent experience software developer, said this week that it will acquire Saba, a talent management solutions company of Vector Capital based out of Dublin, Calif.

The combined company will have more than 75 million users, will serve about 7,000 organizations, of all sizes, around the globe and is valued at approximately $1.4 billion.

Related: Navigating mergers and acquisitions in HR Tech

“Saba and Cornerstone have always shared a passion for people development, and together we can accomplish great things,” said Adam Miller, CEO and founder of Cornerstone. “The additional depth of expertise and capability from Saba is an ideal complement to Cornerstone. With the combination, our product development team is expected to significantly expand, giving us the ability to develop faster, further increase competitive differentiation, and help millions of people around the world to overcome the skills divide.”

Over the course of 2020, Cornerstone plans to integrate and optimize the collective portfolio of products with an unwavering commitment to client success. AlixPartners has been retained to help support the integration of the two organizations, focused on operational excellence and maximizing client value.

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The news follows on the heels of last week’s massive HCM merger announcement between Kronos and Ultimate Software.

See also: Industry experts break down the Ultimate-Kronos mega-merger

“The big issues companies face today are not buying more HR software, but actually buying less,” global industry analyst Josh Bersin had said of the Kronos-Ultimate merger. “Companies are looking for simpler, more integrated solutions—if this merger makes this happen, it could be a long-term winner.”

As such, Cornerstone says with the addition of Saba, the company will have an expanded reach and ability to help a larger, diverse group of employers realize the potential of their people with the right learning and development opportunities.

“For over 20 years, Saba has been committed to helping clients around the world attract, develop and engage their people, and I am thrilled about this union because of the value it will bring to them,” said Phil Saunders, CEO and member of the Saba board of directors. “We see a natural fit between Saba and Cornerstone. We are aligned on mission and a view of where the industry is heading. Together, we will be better able to serve the needs of our clients and lead our industry into the future.”

Also see: The rise of the employee-experience platform

This is Cornerstone’s latest step in a string of moves to grow its footprint. Last month, Cornerstone announced the acquisition of Clustree, a French technology company that uses machine learning and bias-free algorithms to help organizations match their employees’ skills with specific job roles.

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Additionally, the company also in January announced it was a founding member of the Velocity Network Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to supporting research and development of applications for transformational blockchain technology and promoting global adoption of a network for verified career credentials.

Nick Otto is HRE’s senior digital editor. He is a professional communicator with more than a decade of demonstrated accomplishments in newspaper and trade publishing. He has spent the past five years covering the employee benefits space and holds bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida. He can be reached at notto@lrp.com or follow him on twitter @Ottografs.

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