SSA raises US$99 million in IPO

Software maker SSA Global raised $99 million Thursday in an IPO that saw the company's shares close on the Nasdaq exchange right at their initial price, $11.

Enterprise software vendor SSA Global Technologies raised US$99 million (AU$130 million) in an IPO (initial public offering) on Thursday that saw the company's shares close on the Nasdaq exchange right at their initial price, US$11.

Chicago-based SSA Global has a portfolio of sales, supply-chain, accounting and human-resources management applications strung together through acquisitions. Its highest profile product is Baan, an ERP (enterprise resource planning) technology that was once among the industry's most popular before an accounting scandal overwhelmed the company.

Invesnsys bought the devastated Baan in 2000 for Euro 762 million (around US$708 million at the time), then let Baan fall into disrepair as it struggled with its own losses and strategy problems. Invesnsys sold Baan in 2003 for US$135 million to private investors Cerberus Capital Management and General Atlantic Partners, which then merged it with SSA Global, another entity they controlled. Cerberus and General Atlantic continue to dominate SSA Global: They control more than 80 percent of the company's shares.

SSA Global is struggling to return its distressed applications to some of their former glory, but so far it remains a minor vendor in the ERP market, where it trails other midmarket vendors such as Sage Software. Still, the company estimates that its software is used by 13,400 customers, including more than 100 enterprise companies with more than US$1 billion in annual revenue.

In its last fiscal year, ended July 31, SSA Global had revenue of US$636.5 million, including US$157.5 million from software licensing fees and the rest from services and support. Its net loss for the year was US$62.7 million.

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