TeamSystem Auction To End “Within Weeks”

(Reuters) – The auction for Italian business management software group TeamSystem will conclude within weeks, with Sage (SGE.L) heading the field with a bid of up to 650 million euros, people familiar with the matter said.

British accountancy-software group Sage is vying with private-equity groups Cinven and HgCapital to buy the business from U.S private equity firm Bain Capital, the people said, with bids expected from all three on Friday.

Buying TeamSystem would be the first major deal for Newcastle-based Sage for a number of years, and would fill the in-tray of incoming CEO Guy Berruyer.

Sage has a history of acquisitions and analysts have said TeamSystem, which provides tax, payroll and budgeting software for small and medium sized businesses, would be a good fit.

The company, however, is cautious about overpaying, and earlier in July pulled out of a bidding war over Polish IT provider Teta as it could not justify raising its offer. 

Sage, Cinven, HG Capital and Bain declined to comment.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle & Victoria Howle; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)