WebMethods: Speculation On Higher Bid Persists

| About: Mediabistro Inc. (MBIS)

Just a quick update on WebMethods (WEBM). As I posted last week, the company has agreed to be acquired by Software AG for $546 million in cash, or $9.15 a share. But the stock continues to inch above the offering price, as traders continue to speculate that a competing bidder could emerge.

John Reilly Walsh, an analyst with Citigroup, puts the probability of a higher offer at about 30%:

We would not rule out another bid given the broad interest by larger IT organizations to expand their SOA [systems oriented architecture] and BPM [business process management] toolsets, but think WEBM has been receptive to a sale for over a year.

Meanwhile, Walsh says that he continues to see BEA Systems (BEAS) and Tibco (NASDAQ:TIBX) as “attractive acquisition targets given their leading SOA product sets,” but notes that an acquisition of WebMethods by Software AG, a relatively small European software company, is not likely to set off the kind of “land grab” that might occur if a larger software company was doing the deal.

This morning, WebMethods is up 10 cents at $9.36, or about 2% above the acquisition price.