Private equity firm outbids Sage

Plans by listed accountancy software firm Sage to buy Norwegian rival Visma
for £334m have gone further awry after a private equity firm offered a higher

Sage was all set to buy Visma until the company demanded more money after
releasing very healthy financial results.

The Newcastle-based company must now up its bid to more than £400m if it
wants to beat the offer from HgCapital, which has the Visma board and investors
holding 41.3% of shares approval, according to reports.

Sage has said it will not offer any more money for the company.

Visma has 200,000 customers and is the largest Scandinavian seller of
accountancy software to small and medium sized firms. Its revenues totalled
£166m in 2005.

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