Lawson Software Accepts $2B Buyout Offer

The St. Paul-based company has agreed to be bought by GGC Software Holdings, an affiliate of Golden Gate Capital and Infor.

Lawson Software, Inc., on Tuesday announced that it has agreed to be purchased for $11.25 per share of its common stock-a transaction worth about $2 billion.

The St. Paul-based software giant will be purchased by GGC Software Holdings, Inc., an affiliate of private equity firm Golden Gate Capital and Infor, a business software company.

Lawson spokesman Terry Blake said in a Tuesday phone interview that GGC Software is an entity that was created for the purpose of the Lawson acquisition. He said that Lawson, which employs about 800 people in St. Paul, will not alter its business, brand, or work force until the deal closes, which is expected to take place in the third quarter of this year. After the transaction closes, “integration planning will happen in full force,” and any potential changes to the business-including the use of the Lawson name and the company's existing work force-will be determined.

A Reuters report in May indicated that Lawson was seeking a buyer-and the rumor gave the company's stock price a boost.

About a week later, Lawson confirmed that it had received an unsolicited proposal to be bought by Alpharetta, Georgia-based Infor and San Francisco-based Golden Gate Capital.

Lawson on Tuesday said that it conducted a “comprehensive market assessment” and engaged with unnamed other potential buyers, but the GGC Software offer-which represents a nearly 30 percent premium over January stock prices-was the best it received.

The company's stock price slid almost 8 percent to $11.17 during Tuesday morning trading, following the company's announcement that it agreed to a buyout. Under the terms of the deal, stockholders will receive $11.25 per share in cash.

“We are pleased to have entered into a transaction that will offer Lawson stockholders an attractive valuation,” Lawson CEO and President Harry Debes said in a statement. “After a thorough examination of the strategic alternatives available to the company as well as extensive discussions with Golden Gate and Infor, Lawson's board unanimously concluded that this transaction is in the best interests of the company and our stockholders.”

Infor CEO Charles Phillips said in a statement that Lawson offers complementary software solutions that will expand the company's portfolio in the health care, public sector, manufacturing, and human capital management areas.

Barclays Capital, Inc., served as Lawson's financial advisor during the deal, which is subject to customary closing conditions.

Lawson provides business application software, maintenance, and consulting, primarily to the health care, services, public sector, equipment service management and rental, manufacturing and distribution, and consumer products industries. According to Lawson's Web site, the company employs more than 4,200 people in 40 countries. It is among Minnesota's 40-largest public companies based on revenue, which totaled $736.4 million in its most recently completed fiscal year.