Friday, July 07, 2006

Hummingbird-Open Text

I guess we should have seen this coming after Symphony's relatively modest offer to acquire Hummingbird a few weeks back. But Open Text appears to be after their Canadian counterpart again. If you remember, back in the day, the late-1990s, Open Text tried a hostile takeover of PC Docs, whose management ran away from them like its hair was on fire. PC Docs instead accepted from Hummingbird, which was not a direct competitor, like Open Text was. I seem to remember that maybe PC Docs executives felt they'd have a better chance of staying on board if they took Hummingbird's offer over Open Text's. Open Text, of course, then upped their offer and made one last gasp at acquiring PC Docs. Things got kind of nasty before PC Docs finally went to Hummingbird - and PC Docs management team ended up mostly being shown the door anyhow. Well, seven years later, guess what, Open Text is trying another guerilla takeover of PC Docs - this time bidding on the entire Hummingbird entity. Symphony is just a holidng company, so the Open Text acquisition probebly makes more sense. However, Open Text has offered Hummingbird shareholders a dollar more per share, or a 4% premium over the Symphony price, so it might not be worth it for Hummingbird to change suiters at this juncture. If Open Text gets offers somewhere in the 10% range, look for this deal to be a slam dunk.

Ralph

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