IBM this morning announced its intent to acquire Kenexa, a publicly-held maker of human resource management software, for about $1.3 billion in cash.

IBM’s $46 per share offer represents a 42.5 percent premium to Kenexa’s closing price on Friday.

Kenexa provides recruiting and talent management and retention solutions to more than 8,900 customers in 21 countries worldwide. The company was founded way back in 1987 and currently boasts about 2,800 employees.

The company acquired Salary.com in August 2010.

Here’s how IBM pitches the purchase of Kenexa in a press release:

Kenexa, a leading provider of recruiting and talent management solutions, brings a unique combination of Cloud-based technology and consulting services that integrates both people and processes, providing solutions to engage a smarter, more effective workforce across their most critical business functions.

Kenexa complements IBM’s strategy of bringing relevant data and expertise into the hands of business leaders within every functional department, from sales and marketing to product development and human resources. As a result of this synergy, clients will be able to attract and develop the right skills to build the right teams, for the right projects, the first time.

Also worth noting: IBM rivals SAP and Oracle made similar acquisitions in recent times, of SuccessFactors and Taleo, respectively.

IBM expects the transaction to close in Q4 2012.

This is the company’s sixth acquisition this year, after snapping up Tealeaf, Vivisimo, Varicent Software, Worklight and Green Hat.

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