Sage in £183m bid for CRM provider

It is expected the offer by Newcastle-based Sage for the US-based CRM software provider, should be completed without any problems. The first closing date for tender offer is 3 May.

Only last month, mid-range software provider Exchequer Software revealed plans to expand its product range into the CRM market, following a tie-up with Databank Software.

The joining of forces was announced last week and will see the Bournemouth-based vendor link its Enterprise package with Databank’s Prospect CRM tool.

At the same time BASDA chief executive Dennis Keeling predicted a number of members will announce similar moves during the course of the year.

Providers are being encouraged to supply the CRM packages, which allow businesses to capture and analyse customer data at all points of interest.

The Sage offer values Interact at $12.00 in cash for each share – a premium of 51% to the closing market price on 27 March 2001.

Interact has two products, ACT!, which is targeted at small businesses, and SalesLogix targeted at medium-sized businesses – while the acquisition of Interact would provide Sage with the opportunity to sell Interact’s range of market-leading CRM products into it’s customer base.

Paul Walker, Sage chief executive, said: ‘Interact is a strong business in its own right and gives us a leading position in the important CRM market.

‘We are confident Sage’s global presence and channel strength will open up additional opportunities for Interact’s products in new and existing markets.’

He added: ‘While penetration of CRM software amongst Sage customers is currently estimated at less than 10%, research suggests that demand is already high and is likely to grow significantly over the next few years.’

It is understood Sage had been looking for opportunities in the CRM market for some time – and the move will help it meet its strategic objectives of linking its ‘back-office’ accounting software with ‘front-office’ sales and customer management tools.


Exchequer Software to make CRM move

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