I posted about a month ago about the suitors for accounting software company MYOB. I’ve just been told that MYOB has accepted an offer from Manhattan pending shareholder approval. Details below.

As I said to another accounting software industry player, I guess the saying “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” is Manhattan’s rationale…. I wonder if now MYOB will build a real on-demand product instead of the horrendous Business Basics Online (review here)

The board of MYOB Ltd says it intends to accept a takeover bid from private equity consortium Manhattan after it raised its offer by about $14 million.

The new offer from Manhattan, a joint venture between private equity firm Archer Capital and US investment firm HarbourVest, values MYOB at about $451 million.

Manhattan’s previous offer of $1.1215 per share for full company control valued MYOB at about $437 million, but was rejected by the software company as opportunistic.

Under the new two-tier offer, Manhattan is offering MYOB shareholders $1.0564 per share.

If Manhattan receives acceptances reaching 90 per cent its offer will increase to $1.1564 per MYOB share, valuing the company at about $451 million.

MYOB chairman Simon McKeon said the board intended to accept the latest offer in the absence of a higher bid.

“The board is pleased that we have been able to agree an improvement to the bid structure, which now allows shareholders to gain a higher price for their shares without risking being forced into accepting the lower price,” Mr McKeon said.

“We encourage shareholders to think carefully about the options presented to them.”

MYOB has also agreed to pay a special fully franked dividend of 8.15 cents per share, subject to Manhattan declaring its offer unconditional.

The takeover bid will only proceed if 50.1 per cent of acceptances are received before December 18.

Andrew Gray, Chairman of Manhattan, urged MYOB shareholders to act quickly on the offer.

“In terms of timing of acceptances, MYOB shareholders should have the last Qantas takeover attempt top-of mind,” he said.

Qantas was the target of a controversial $11.1 billion private equity bid in 2007, which had board approval but failed to receive the required shareholder approval.

MYOB shares closed up 8.5 cents, or 8.76 per cent, at $1.055.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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