IBM has announced it will acquire data warehouse appliance company Netezza in a deal valued at approximately $1.7 billion. More specifically, IBM is offering $27 per share for Netezza, a 10 percent premium over Friday's closing share price of $24.60. The two companies have already worked together in the past, assembling systems designed to analyze large amounts of complex data. The acquisition still requires approval from Netezza's shareholders, but IBM expects the deal to close in Q4.

Netezza is one of the leaders in the data warehousing market, meaning it helps businesses sort through data on corporate servers to make strategic decisions; its TwinFin product line has been particularly successful. On its site, the company says it "revolutionized and simplified analytics for companies drowning in data and struggling to find the processing speed and power to analyze and understand what it all meant." The Marlborough, Massachusetts-based company has about 500 employees and about 350 customers.

Netezza's technology is classified under ''analytics,'' which IBM says will be one of its main sources of growth in the near future and from where it has made 23 acquisitions totaling $12 billion over the past four years. "IBM is bringing analytics to the masses," Steve Mills, IBM senior vice president and group executive, said in a statement. "We continue to evolve our capabilities for systems integration, bringing together optimized hardware and software, in response to increasing demand for technology that delivers true business value. Netezza is a perfect example of this approach. Netezza strongly complements our business analytics capabilities and client base. Together, we have the opportunity to quickly leverage the technology and accelerate the offering."