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Monday, April 4, 2011

Activant and Epicor being bought by Apax Partners

Software providers Epicor Software Corp. and Activant Solutions Inc. agreed to buyout offers from funds affiliated with private-equity firm Apax Partners in a combined deal valued at about $2 billion.

Epicor shares surged 11% to $12.50 in early Monday trading on the Nasdaq stock market, matching the per-share offer price. The stock had gained 18% over the past 12 months. Epicor said the total value of its deal, which likely includes debt, is about $976 million.

Activant is currently owned by funds affiliated with Hellman & Friedman LLC, Thoma Bravo LLC and JMI Equity.

Apax plans to merge the two companies as a private firm under the Epicor name. The combined company will have more than 30,000 customers and $825 million in annual revenues, Apax said.

Sales at Epicor, which makes integrated enterprise and business software, have improved as clients for its business software started to spend again. Its latest fourth-quarter profit narrowed on higher costs, though the top line continued to grow.

Activant provides software for mid-market retail and wholesale distribution businesses.

Shareholders representing about 19% of Epicor's outstanding shares, including private-equity firm Elliott Associates LP, have backed the deal.

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