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Microsoft Navision buyout?

From: Todd Boyle
Subject: Microsoft Navision buyout?
Date: Tue, 07 May 2002 10:39:53 -0700

Can any competing midrange or enterprise software survive
on Windows, against the $Billions of Microsoft resources?
AR/AP everywhere

(Adds background, Navision Q3 figures)

COPENHAGEN, May 7 (Reuters) - Industry giant Microsoft has
offered to buy Danish enterprise software firm Navision
NAVI.CO> for 10.8 billion crowns ($1.33 billion), the Danish
company said on Tuesday.
Microsoft, the world's biggest software company, is offering
Navision shareholders 300 crowns per share in cash, 12.4 percent
higher than Monday's close of 267 crowns, or the equivalent in
Microsoft shares.
"The board of directors has unanimously decided to recommend
the offer from Microsoft to its shareholders," Navision said in
a statement.
By the opening, Navision shares jumped to 295 crowns and by
0732 GMT it traded at 296.50 crowns.
The offer confirms media reports last week which sent
Navision shares more than 20 percent higher to 265 crowns.
Navision, which is 56.5 percent owned by its five founders,
is already a key partner for Microsoft. It is one of Europe's
leading manufacturers of software that helps medium-sized
businesses run their operations and finances.
By combining Navision with its recently acquired enterprise
software unit Great Plains from the U.S., Microsoft would become
one of the world's leading providers of business planning
software to mid-sized companies. This is a high-growth market
segment in which the Redmond-based firm has decided to expand.
Microsoft is already the world's biggest software company
with a dominant position in desktop software, including its
operating system Windows and its Office software for word
processing, spreadsheets and presentations.
Navision produces software only and has little or no
consulting or service operations, instead relying on partners.
Its European peers include, among others, Britain's Sage Group
SGE.L> and Netherlands-based Exact.
Shares in Navision traded at a 12-month high of 287 crowns
last month. Its record high was 999 crowns in January 2000.
In connection with the announcement of the Microsoft offer,
Navision also released its third quarter earnings report.
Earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) in the
three months to end-March were 45 million crowns, below a
Reuters analyst average forecast of 53 million crowns.
Third quarter sales were 380 million crowns, slightly below
market consensus.
($=8.12 Danish crowns)

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