November 3, 2006 7:02 AM PST

Oracle acquires utility-industry software developer

Oracle announced Friday it has acquired SPL WorldGroup, which will serve as a keystone to launch a global unit focused on utility companies.

SPL, based in San Francisco, develops software for the electric, gas and water industries to handle customer service and billing, mobile workforce needs, and the management of assets, distribution and outages.

"With the addition of SPL, Oracle plans to deliver the first end-to-end packaged revenue and operations management solution for investor-owned and public-sector utilities," Charles Phillips, Oracle's president, said in a statement.

The SPL acquisition also marks the business software giant's latest effort to dive deep into particular industry segments. Last month, for example, Oracle announced plans to acquire MetaSolv Software, in a $219 million deal to bolster its presence in the telecommunications arena.

Oracle acquired SPL from private equity fund manager GFI Energy Ventures. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

According to SPL's Web site, the 38-year-old company has about 750 employees and works with more than 175 utility companies worldwide.

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