Sage slapped with legal bid

Steve Dinneen
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SAGE Group is embroiled in a legal row with an Australian private equity outfit over its decision to walk away from talks to buy MYOB.

Archer Capital, which owned a stake in the Melbourne-based firm, has launched a lawsuit – thought to be worth in the region of £83m – arguing the eventual sale of the business came in at around $100m less than Sage had offered. Software giant Sage released a statement saying it “strongly rejected” the claims, adding it will “defend itself vigorously”.

US private equity house Bain Capital eventually agreed to buy the accounting software company for about $1.3bn (£790m), fending off interest from private equity outfit Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. Sources close to the deal said at the time Sage was forced to abandon its bid because of a cooling of market conditions and a lack of shareholder support. It had appeared to be favourite after entering exclusive talks with MYOB’s private equity owners, tabling an offer of around £885m.

Law firm Allen & Overy is advising Sage on the case.