Micro Focus/Borland Merger: Quiet Close After Noisy Process

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Includes: BORL, MCFUF
by: 451 Research: Inorganic Growth

by Brenon Daly

After more than two months of back-and-forth negotiations, Micro Focus (OTCPK:MCFUF) is set to take home Borland Software (BORL). Shareholders in Borland approved the $113m deal on Wednesday and Micro Focus shareholders signed off on it on Friday. Originally announced on May 6, the acquisition is set to close early next week. Along the way, Micro Focus had to pay 50% more than it originally bid, but still picks up the application lifecycle management vendor for just 1 times its sales.

The reason Micro Focus had to reach deeper into its coffers is that after the parties initially agreed to the transaction, at least two other shoppers popped up with offers of their own. Or more accurately, the would-be buyers indicated that they were interested in bidding. We already noted our suspicion that one of the pair was the recently launched 2SV Capital, although the firm didn’t pursue the nonbinding bid beyond an initial query.

As for the identity of the other suitor, which was identified only as Company A in US Securities and Exchange Commission filings, it turns out we were off with our guess of Embarcadero Technologies. In fact, we were off by about 3,000 miles. A source indicated that the mystery bidder was in fact Allen Systems Group, which has its headquarters in Naples, Florida. The privately held company has done some 30 acquisitions over the two decades it has been in business. We understand that the firm may have had trouble lining up the financing to top Micro Focus’ offer for Borland, which has an enterprise value of $164m. Allen Systems didn’t return several messages seeking comment.