SAP has bought retail management software company Retek for $496 million in cash.

The purchase, agreed by Retek's Board, will help SAP broaden its customer base into the retail market. Retek offers software for a range of retail operations, including supply chain management (SCM), multi-channel retailing and merchandise operations management. The company has more than 200 customers in more than 20 countries.

SAP sees the retail industry as a growth area for its package software "as retailers are increasingly considering IT as a strategic instrument to drive competitive differentiation and business growth," the company said.

"The global retail industry is large and represents a significant growth opportunity for SAP," said its CEO Henning Kagermann. "Retek offers many software solutions to augment its existing presence and will enable us to offer the most comprehensive solution in the industry, from the point of sale through the entire retail supply chain."

Retek's CEO join in the party: "We are excited about the opportunity to join the SAP family and the value that we believe this combination will bring to our customers, employees and shareholders," said Marty Leestma. "SAP provides enormous resources, extensive application and integration technology experience, and the global reach and scope to provide an unprecedented opportunity for the retail industry." Great.

In an interview last month, Kagermann said SAP would continue to make strategic investments in companies to fill some technology gaps. It's important, he said, that SAP generates innovative add-on products around its core business management software.