Micro Focus agrees £5.1bn Canadian takeover


nother of the few remaining UK-owned technology companies is set to fall into foreign hands after Micro Focus agreed a £5.1 billion takeover.

Shares in the FTSE 100 company rocketed by more than 90% on Friday morning after the software firm confirmed the deal with Canadian company OpenText.

It comes as weakness in the pound continues to make British companies appealing acquisition targets for international suitors.

The move also comes days after French conglomerate Schneider Electric confirmed it is considering a full takeover for fellow London-listed tech business Aveva.

The board of Micro Focus agreed to a 532p per share offer, which represented a 98.3% premium on the company’s share price at the end of trading on Wednesday.

It added that the move values Micro Focus at £5.1 billion on an enterprise value basis.

OpenText is one of Canada’s biggest software businesses and said it to make up to 400 million US dollars (£338 million) as a result of the takeover.

The deal is expected to be completed in the first quarter of next year.

Mark J Barrenechea, chief executive officer of OpenText, said: “We are pleased to announce our firm intention to acquire Micro Focus, and I look forward to welcoming Micro Focus customers, partners and employees to OpenText.

“Upon completion of the acquisition, OpenText will be one of the world’s largest software and cloud businesses with a tremendous marquee customer base, global scale and comprehensive go-to-market.

“Customers of OpenText and Micro Focus will benefit from a partner that can even more effectively help them accelerate their digital transformation efforts by unlocking the full value of their information assets and core systems.”

Greg Lock, chairman of Micro Focus, said: “I am pleased to be recommending OpenText’s offer to our shareholders.

“The premium offered demonstrates the significant progress we have made transforming the business.

“OpenText not only shares our values but will offer new opportunities for both our customers and employees.”

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