Golden Gate Capital, Infor buying Lawson Software

AP News
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Posted: Apr 26, 2011 8:39 AM
Golden Gate Capital, Infor buying Lawson Software

Lawson Software Inc. said Tuesday it agreed to a $2 billion buyout offer from the private equity firm Golden Gate Capital and business-software company Infor.

Lawson, a business software maker based in St. Paul, Minn., said its board unanimously approved the offer of $11.25 per share and board members will vote their shares in favor of the deal. The directors own a combined 9 percent stake in the company. The offer is 88 cents, or 7.3 percent, lower than the company's closing price of $12.13 on Monday, however.

Infor and a Golden Gate affiliate made an offer for Lawson in March. Lawson said it contacted other potential buyers after receiving that bid, but the company did not get a superior proposal. It said it has not received a better offer.

Golden Gate and Infor were offering a premium of 13.9 percent on March 7, the day before it was reported that Lawson was considering a sale. Lawson shares closed at $9.88 on March 7, and have traded between $6.93 and $13.06 in the last year.

The stock has traded higher over the last month as investors speculated that Lawson would find a superior offer, or that Golden Gate and Infor would raise their bid to close the deal.

Shares of Lawson Software dropped 83 cents, or 6.8 percent, to $11.30 in pre-market trading Tuesday.

Golden Gate's affiliate GGC Software Holdings said Infor and Lawson will serve about 75,000 clients combined, including customers in the manufacturing, health care, distribution, and hospitality industries as well as the public sector. GGC said Infor has about 70,000 customers in 125 countries.

Lawson said it expects the sale to close in the third quarter of 2011 assuming regulators and shareholders approve.

It said the deal has committed debt financing from Credit Suisse, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Canada, and Deutsche Bank.