RealTime IT News

Hummingbird Weighing $485.1M Offer

The battle for Hummingbird took another turn Friday.

Enterprise content management (ECM) company Hummingbird Ltd. , which is still favoring a bid to be acquired by Symbol Technology Group for about $465 million, said it is negotiating a purchase offer worth $485.1 million from content management rival Open Text.

Open Text's  latest offer is to buy Toronto's Hummingbird for $27.85 million per share in cash.

The new offer is 10 cents per share greater than its last offer two weeks ago of $27.75, and it is $20 million more than Symbol's bid.

Hoping to spur negotiations, Hummingbird said in a statement it has executed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with Open Text and has agreed to grant Open Text access to Hummingbird's private information.

The non-disclosure agreement prevents Open Text from acquiring Hummingbird for less than $27.85 per share before Oct. 31, 2006, without the approval of Hummingbird's board.

The NDA also calls for both companies to try to enter a definitive acquisition deal by July 30.

Meanwhile, the Symbol deal is still on the table and recommended by Hummingbird's board "given the uncertain status of a potential transaction with Open Text, the high level of conditionality of Open Text's current offer."

Hummingbird shareholders are weighing both offers and expect to hold a special meeting to discuss the deals on August 18.

ECM software manages and stores large amounts of corporate data in repositories.

A multi-billion-dollar market, ECM includes such competitors as leader IBM , Microsoft , EMC , Interwoven , and FileNet .

The ECM sector thinned out considerably in the last few years as a result of some consolidation among vendors interested in grabbing a larger piece of the lucrative ECM pie.

EMC bought Documentum and Captiva in the past few years.

Open Text is no stranger to the consolidation, buying Ixos Software and a 75 percent stake in Gauss Interprise in 2003.