23 Oct 2018

US based company makes offer for NZX-listed tech firm

11:54 am on 23 October 2018

An American company with a voracious takeover appetite wants to buy local software developer SLI systems and is offering more than double its closing price last week.


File photo. Photo: NZX / Supplied

Texas-based ESW Holdings is offering to buy SLI at not less than 63 cents a share and between 3 and 34 cents for unlisted options. The price compares to SLI's closing price of 30 cents a share on Friday.

The bid values SLI, which develops software for retailers to track consumer behaviour, at about $40 million and is conditional on ESW gaining more than 90 percent of SLI.

SLI posted a maiden full year profit of $4.1m last year, as it looked to build up cash and develop new products.

"While we have made good progress on both fronts this offer allows shareholders to realise a significant premium to the current market and to eliminate the ongoing execution risks of this transition phase," SLI Chairman Mr Cross said.

Eighteen SLI shareholders holding 51 percent of its stock have said they will accept the offer.

The company had been cutting back on spending and build up its cash reserves so it would not have to raise more money.

It also has been developing new products, which it said were for the long term growth of the company rather than for short or medium term profit.

ESW is a private investment fund, which invests in software businesses. It owns more than 60 such companies, and had already bought 16 this year.

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