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In a move to increase its strength in one of its core vertical markets, Activant Solutions Inc.,Austin, TX, has agreed to acquire Speedware Corporation Inc. Montreal, Quebec, including its operating divisions Enterprise Computer Systems (ECS) Inc., Prelude Systems Inc., OpenERP Solutions, and Speedware Ltd. The anticipated acquisition would grow Activant's installed base to over 20,000 customer locations.
Under the terms of an agreement signed on January 24, 2005, an Activant subsidiary will, subject to certain conditions, make a tender offer to purchase all of the issued and outstanding shares of common stock of Speedware Corporation, including all shares of common stock issuable upon exercise of currently outstanding options and warrants, for CDN$3.91 per share in cash.
Activant has identified four key vertical segments for the company's growth, which are lumber and building materials (LBM), automotive aftermarket, wholesale trade, and hardware and home center retailing. By incorporating the Speedware product line, Activant bolsters its offerings in these segments. Both Activant and Speedware have well-received solutions for LBM customers and will leverage the deep technology expertise and combined 50 years of industry experience to deliver increased innovation and service to LBM customers. Prelude's Advanced Distribution System (ADS) will expand Activant's presence and momentum serving wholesale trade customers.
In addition, OpenERP will introduce Activant to small and mid-size manufacturing customers with next-generation ERP and supply chain applications built on open source platforms. Speedware Ltd delivers business intelligence and system migration tools, which complement the product offerings of both companies.
"Activant is focused on growth and acquisitions to become the premier technology provider of vertical ERP software and solutions to select industries." said Larry Jones, CEO of Activant Solutions. "The acquisition of Speedware is our first big step in this new direction and lays the foundation for revenue growth, technology innovation and increased thought leadership in key vertical segments."
"Activant's deep vertical expertise, large installed customer base and solid technology are a natural fit with Speedware's business," said Andrew Gutman, CEO of Speedware Corporation. "We believe the combined entity will give our customers additional world-class service and best-of-breed products for driving their business growth."
The offer, which will be subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close within 45 to 60 days. As permitted under US securities law, the offer will be conducted as a take-over bid in accordance with applicable Canadian securities law.
Activant has also entered into an agreement with certain securityholders of Speedware who have agreed to tender securities representing approximately 48% of the outstanding common shares of Speedware (on a fully diluted basis) to the offer.