Onyx bids to woo Pivotal from Talisma

Midmarket CRM (customer relationship management) software developer Onyx Software made a bid Wednesday to snatch a rival vendor, Pivotal, from the arms of another suitor.

Pivotal, in Vancouver, agreed in early October to be acquired by a private equity firm, Oak Investment Partners, which planned to merge Pivotal with another Oak-backed software maker, Talisma. Oak offered US$1.78 per share cash for Talisma, a total of approximately $47 million.

Onyx offered Wednesday a stock swap of 0.475 Onyx shares per Pivotal share, a trade valued at $2.25 per Pivotal share based on Onyx's Tuesday closing price. At that price, Onyx's offer is valued at about $59 million.

Onyx's unsolicited bid was submitted in a letter Wednesday to Pivotal's board of directors. A representative from Pivotal could not immediately be reached for comment.

Onyx executives said merging their company with Pivotal would create the industry's second largest dedicated CRM vendor, behind Siebel Systems, and give Onyx annual revenue of at least $110 million from a customer base of 2,600. Onyx, in Bellevue, Washington, posted revenue of $45.4 million for the first nine months of 2003, with a net loss of $4.6 million.

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