posted on 4/26/2011 8:58:26 AM
After an extended evaluation period during which Lawson searched for competing bids, the ERP maker agrees to a nearly $2 billion takeover over from acquisitive Infor.
After weeks of silence, ERP provider Lawson Software today said it has accepted a nearly $2 billion acquisition offer from fellow ERP maker Infor and its financing partners.
The takeover by GGC Software Holdings, Inc. an affiliate of Infor’s primary financier, Golden Gate Capital, will yield Lawson investors $11.25 per share. The transaction must earn shareholder approval before it can proceed.
Lawson announced the original offer on March 11 and said it would evaluate its strategic alternatives before ruling on the proposal. In the interim, the ERP market teemed with rumors of counterbids, including speculation that serial acquirer Oracle might enter the fray. No other offers surfaced publicly.
In a statement, Lawson said, “During its evaluation, Lawson conducted a comprehensive market assessment and contacted other potential acquirers including competing global providers of enterprise applications and financial buyers, a process that did not result in a superior proposal.”
The consummation runs counter to the advice of some ERP industry analysts, who felt Lawson was strong enough to remain independent.
“[Lawson CEO] Harry Debes and his management team have done a great job rebuilding the team, and their customers are just about to reap the benefits of their investment,” Ray Wang of Constellation Research told Managing Automation at the time of the initial announcement. “Moving to Infor may give the customers better economies of scale in the long term, but Lawson is big enough on its own right now to survive as an independent entity.”
Debes said today that he was “pleased to have entered into a transaction that will offer Lawson stockholders an attractive valuation.” In the statement, he added that “Lawson’s board unanimously concluded that this transaction is in the best interests of the company and our stockholders.”
The acquisition is Infor’s first since Charles Phillips took the reins last fall. Until September 2010, Phillips was co-president of Oracle, and had been considered a possible heir to Larry Ellison’s throne. But the relationship between the two reportedly soured, and in October Phillips succeeded Jim Schaper as CEO of Infor.
Sources close to the company said that under Phillips, Infor would ramp up acquisitions.
“Lawson is a natural strategic partner for Infor,” Phillips said in the statement. The addition of Lawson’s ERP portfolio bolsters Infor’s, he said, “particularly in areas such as healthcare, public sector, manufacturing, and human capital management.”
For a look at how Lawson’s ERP software compares to Infor’s or other ERP vendors’, visit TechMATCH.