MYOB tells shareholders to reject takeover bid

Accounting software giant MYOB has urged shareholders to reject a takeover bid from Manhattan Software Bidco, claiming the offer is opportunistic and undervalues the company.

Manhattan, which is backed by private equity group Archer Capital, has offered $1.0215 a share for MYOB, although this will rise to $1.12 if Manhattan can move to compulsory acquisition.

“Manhattan is seeking to take advantage of the unprecedented volatility in global markets by acquiring MYOB without paying fair value to shareholders,” MYOB chief executive Simon McKeon says.

“You only get to sell your shares once, and shareholders deserve to get an appropriate value for their company.”

MYOB says it is in talks with a number of parties about a possible rival bid and is also in discussions with Manhattan. But exactly how much more money MYOB might be able to extract from these discussions is not clear.

In its formal rejection statement, MYOB points to an independent expert’s valuation of MYOB by Lonergan Edwards & Associates which values MYOB at $1.16 to $1.29.

As Manhattan Software director Andrew Gray has been quick to point out the $1.16 valuation represents just a 3% premium to Manhattan’s top offer of $1.12.

“Their rejection is even more surprising given Manhattan’s offer remains the only offer available to shareholders and with prospective counter bidders already falling away,” he told The Australian Financial Review.

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