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Oracle has agreed to acquire the Taleo Corporation, a maker of Web-based human resources management software, for $1.9 billion as it continues to bolster its presence in so-called cloud services.

The transaction comes amid intensifying competition in the enterprise services sector between Oracle and SAP, both of which are trying to expand their footprint in Web-based, or cloud, applications.

In December, SAP agreed to buy a Taleo rival, SuccessFactors, for $3.4 billion. The deal was viewed as a particularly rich one, valuing SuccessFactors at roughly 10 times projected sales.

Oracle, which once shunned cloud-based enterprise software, now seems eager to expand its portfolio.

In October, the company agreed to buy RightNow Technologies, a maker of Web-based customer service software, for $1.43 billion. It also introduced the Oracle Public Cloud in the fall, a platform for enterprise services and its first major initiative for the market.

With Taleo, Oracle is adding software intended to help companies recruit and manage employees. Under the terms of the deal, Oracle will pay $46 a share, about 18 percent above Taleo’s closing share price on Wednesday.

“Human capital management has become a strategic initiative for organizations,” Thomas Kurian, an Oracle executive vice president, said in a statement. “Taleo’s industry leading talent management cloud is an important addition to the Oracle Public Cloud.”

The deal is expected to close by the middle of the year.

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