Lawson Software, provider of a wide variety of business management programs including enterprise human capital management, will be acquired by equity investor Golden Gate Capital and its business software and services firm Infor, in a deal valued at about $2 billion. The official announcement was made this morning.
Lawson’s stock, which traded as high as $12.50 a share after Golden Gate and Infor made an offer last month, dropped $1.01 following the news. It was trading at $11.11 in mid-afternoon in New York, 14 cents below the $11.25-per-share purchase price.
The company, 11 percent owned by investor Carl Icahn, shopped itself around after the offer, according to Reuters, but found no takers.
Based in St. Paul, Minnesota, Lawson focuses on specific industries: healthcare, services, public sector, equipment service management & rental, manufacturing and distribution, and consumer products. As an ERP developer, its programs touch all critical areas of company operations including finance, supply chain, asset management, manufacturing ops, and human capital. It’s 4,500 customers span the globe, with a strong concentration in North America and Europe. At the end of 2010, it acquired HR services provider Enwisen for $70 million.
When the deal is complete, which is expected in the third quarter and must be approved by shareholder vote, Lawson will be folded into Infor, a company HR technology guru Naomi Bloom called an “ERP graveyard.” Writing last month about the bid by Golden Gate and Infor, Bloom said, “This is where old software goes to die, to be milked for its installed base’s maintenance revenues with only modest, ongoing upgrades, doing just enough to retain that installed base.”
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She concluded with this lament about Lawson’s future: “I hate that this proud company, with an important legacy of industry focus, strong HCM products, and management integrity, may well disappear into Infor — a very sad ending indeed.”
No word on layoffs, support, or related issues.