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SumTotal Says Vista Offer Superior

(Reuters) – Software-maker SumTotal Systems Inc (SUMT.O) said the latest buyout offer it received from its largest stockholder, Vista Equity Partners, is superior to that offered by Accel-KKR.

Technology-focused private equity firm Vista Equity Partners on Wednesday raised its bid for SumTotal Systems for the third time in a month to $4.85 per share in cash, topping Accel-KKR’s latest bid by five cents. [ID:nBNG438370]

SumTotal said under the amended agreement with Accel-KKR, it will “negotiate in good faith” with Accel-KKR for three business days and will pay a fee of $6.67 million to the company if it accepts an offer from a third party.

SumTotal, which makes employee-management software, is not withdrawing, amending, qualifying or modifying its recommendation for the amended Accel-KKR agreement, it said in a statement.

Vista Equity and Accel-KKR have been engaged in a series of negotiations and amended buyout proposals to acquire SumTotal since Vista Equity offered $3.25 per share, or about $103 million in cash for the company in April.

Currently, the offer by Vista Equity, which owns about 13 percent of SumTotal’s shares, values the company at about $160 million.

SumTotal shares closed at $4.88 on Wednesday on the Nasdaq market. They traded as low as $1.24 in March. (Reporting by Anurag Kotoky in Bangalore; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)