FRANKFURT, Oct 8 Shares in German computer software maker SAP fell more than 5 percent on

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FRANKFURT, Oct 8 (Reuters) Shares in German computer software maker SAP fell more than 5 percent on Monday on market scepticism about the merit of SAP's plans to buy Franco-American peer Business Objects, analysts said.

Dealers said a profit warning issued by Business Objects over the weekend also weighed on the share price.

At 0814 GMT, SAP shares traded 5.8 percent lower at 39.22 euros, having hit a session low of 39.15 euros. Business Objects shares rose 16.6 percent to 38.50 euros in Paris.

The world's leading business software maker, SAP said on Sunday it had agreed to acquire Business Objects for a total 4.8 billion euros ($6.8 billion). It said the primary driver for the acquisition, its biggest and a reversal of its avowed strategy of organic growth, was the potential to gain new business.

The 42 euros-per-share offer represents a 20 percent premium over Business Objects' closing price on Friday.

''We are surprised that SAP always repeated its mantra of organic growth and finally decided to acquire Business Objects,'' UniCredit said in a note to clients.

It added that the price was a clear premium to the average in comparison with recent acquisitions in the software industry.

Analyst Theo Kitz at Merck Fink said: ''The move is contradictory to management's strategy to pursue organic growth with only small fill-in acquisitions and it will put a strain on financials next year.'' Analysts at brokerage Kepler said the move was viewed negatively due to the high price.

But analysts at Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg said that while they expected the profit warning to burden the shares and raise doubts over the rationale of the transaction short-term it made sense that SAP made use of the possibility to reach a market-leading position in the business-intelligence sector.

Business Objects, whose business-intelligence software helps companies to mine mountains of data to detect market trends, reported preliminary third-quarter results just after SAP's takeover announcement that fell short of expectations.

It said it would report earnings per share of $0.36-$0.39, compared with the average estimate of $0.51 in a Reuters poll of analysts.

Sales would be between $366 million and $370 million, also below the poll's average of $385.1 million.

Business Objects has more than 43,000 customers, according to its own data, and made 2006 sales of $1.25 billion. It says about 40 percent of its customers are already customers of SAP.

REUTERS KR HT1500

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