Hyland Software Makes Bid for ReadSoft, Lexmark Counters

In early May, Lexmark made a $182 million cash bid to acquire Sweden-based ReadSoft, a provider of on-premise and cloud based software solutions for business process automation.

Lexmark, coming out of a first-quarter financial period in which its “Higher Value Solutions Portfolio,” which includes its MPS and Percepctive Software businesses, accounted for 28 percent of its total revenue, was clearly looking for ReadSoft to play a big part in the projected growth of that business. Lexmark reported ReadSoft’s board of directors had unanimously recommended to accept the offer, as had the two largest shareholders, ReadSoft’s founders. However the bid was contingent on acceptance by shareholders representing more than 90 percent of outstanding shares. The offer was expected to close in the second quarter of 2014.

On Wednesday, software firm Hyland topped Lexmark’s bid, making a $198 million cash bid for the company. U.S.-based Hyland, whose OnBase software is already one of the leading ECM products on the market, said the addition of ReadSoft would expand its presence in Europe.

Lexmark quickly responded to the competing bid, announcing it would increase its cash tender offer price to approximately $194 million. Lexmark reports that ReadSoft’s board of directors and founders have agreed to continue to recommend in favor of Lexmark’s revised offer.

“The increase in our tender offer price reflects Lexmark’s confidence in the combination of ReadSoft and Perceptive Software to support our strategy of building our high value solutions that help our customers manage their unstructured information challenges,” said Paul Rooke , Lexmark chairman and chief executive officer in a press release. “We believe that Lexmark is a perfect strategic fit for ReadSoft with the financial resources and global reach to enable ReadSoft to reach its full potential.”