Sage offers R785m for Softline.

Posted On Wednesday, 06 August 2003 02:00 Published by
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Newcastle - The Sage Group, the UK's biggest maker of accounting software, on Friday offered R784.8 million to buy local software distributor Softline, topping two rival bids.

Newcastle - The Sage Group, the UK's biggest maker of accounting software, on Friday offered R784.8 million to buy local software distributor Softline, topping two rival bids.

Sage Group said it would pay R2 a Softline share, Softline said in a statement to the JSE Securities Exchange.
That is 8.6 percent more than Softline's closing price on Friday, when it shed 4c to close at R1.84.

From another point of view, Sage is offering a premium of 26.6 percent to Softline's closing share price on June 24, a day before it made its first announcement.

The bid tops an earlier offer by an ex-director of Softline, Ivan Ferrer, in a consortium with Dutch-based software maker Exact Holding, and another offer by a group including Softline managers.

Exact's bid of R1.45 a share valued Softline at R706 million.
The other bid, which included Softline's management and Investec, valued the company at R510 million.

The British firm said Softline had net cash of £11.1 million at the end of March, giving it an enterprise value of £54.9 million.

Sage, which early last month announced it was buying US-based Timberline Software for £63.9 million, said it planned to fund its latest acquisition out of its existing debt facilities.

Softline, which has appointed a committee to evaluate bids, said it would give the Dutch company a chance to submit a higher offer.

It did not mention the Softline management bidding group.

The committee "will make a recommendation to the board of directors of Softline in due course", the statement said.
 

 


Publisher: Business Report
Source: Business Report

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