RealTime IT News

Sage Group to Buy Best Software for $445 Million

Net-based accounting software vendor The Sage Group plc Wednesday bought U.S.-based Best Software in a move to strengthen its management appeal on both sides of the Atlantic.

Best Software, which offers a range of Web-centric management and human resources solutions, will be purchased in an all-cash deal with its shares valued at $35 each.

By acquiring Best, the U.K. company aims to bolster its position in the U.S. business market and adds a complementary line of HR, payroll, fixed asset and analytic solutions to its accounting and business management software. The two companies expect to complete the transaction by mid-February.

"The strategic fit with our existing U.S. businesses is strong," claimed Paul Walker, chief executive officer for Sage Group plc, Sage Software's parent company. "Our combined businesses will represent a powerful force in the U.S. small to medium-sized business market."

As a result of the deal there will be many opportunities for increased marketing and promotion. For example, Sage will encourage its 10,000 strong value added reseller network to carry the Best product range.

David Hanna, chief executive officer of Sage U.S., pointed to Best's Imperativ technology, which offers medium-sized businesses a range of payroll and other human resource services.

The purchase will also add 50,000 customers to Sage, building on the 1 million added with the $145 million acquisition of Peachtree Software last year.

After the acquisition, Sage will have four major business divisions in the U.S. -- Sage Software, Inc. sells accounting software to small to mid-size businesses; Sage Time Division provides time and fee billing software to accountants; Peachtree is a major brand of accounting software for very small businesses; while Best Software completes the round.