Enterprise application provider UNIT4 has received 'preliminary interest' from private equity firms for a possible takeover, following some recent high profile contract wins with the UK government.
According to analyst house TechMarketView, the private equity firms are interested in a takeover "of all outstanding shares in UNIT4 at indicative prices up to EUR35 per share".
The discussions are allegedly still exploratory, but the announcement prompted a share price increase of 14 percent yesterday.
UNIT4's flagship Agresso platform was recently selected to underpin the government's first independently run shared services centre (ISSC1), which will provide back office services to the Department for Transport and its executive agencies.
ISSC1 is the first government shared service centre to be operated by the private sector, and forms a key element of the Cabinet Office's strategic plan for next generation shared services, which aims to make savings of up to £600 million a year. The deal was a big win for UNIT4 in the UK, which has previously largely had success outside of Whitehall picking up contracts in local government and education.
"Prospective buyers will no doubt have been impressed by recent major signings with UK government, by the increasingly high proportion of predictable revenues from contracts, SaaS and subscriptions, and by the fact that UNIT4 has been giving SAP and Oracle a run for their money in certain sectors," said Georgina O'Toole, director at TechMarketView.
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