IBM Corp. said Tuesday it plans to acquire SPSS Inc., a technology services company that helps businesses predict future trends and observe consumer patterns and behavior, for $1.2 billion.

SPSS shareholders will receive $50 a share, a 42 percent premium to Monday's closing price of $35.09 on Nasdaq, according to a company statement.

Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM said it will use the purchase to boost the software business, where profit margins are more than double than in the technology service sector.

In the statement, IBM also said the acquisition will help reduce credit risk, increase customer loyalty and detect and prevent fraud across diverse industries.

IBM dropped 1 cent yesterday $117.63 on the New York Stock Exchange. Meanwhile, SPSS was halted in early trading after closing at $35.09 on Monday on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Separately, IBM also said it has acquired Ounce Labs Inc., a privately held software company in Waltham, Mass., for an undisclosed amount. Ounce Labs Inc., said it will assists businesses reduce the risk and costs associated with security and compliance concerns.