IBM plans to spend $740 million to acquire MRO Software, a company that builds applications for managing industrial equipment.

The company will incorporate the asset management tools that MRO develops into its Tivoli line of software. MRO will operate as a business unit within Tivoli.

This acquisition will provide companies with a single view into all of their assets, helping them to maximize efficiencies, drive productivity and innovate business processes across the enterprise, Al Zollar, Tivoli general manager, said in a statement.

Bedford, Mass-based MRO Software develops asset-management tools that allow companies to keep track of its resources. It currently has customers in the utility, transportation, and manufacturing industries.

The two companies have been partners since 1996, when IBM acted as a systems integrator in implementing MRO Software.

IBM's software group has made over 50 acquisitions in the past 10 years. This latest one is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2006.