Onyx Extends Its Pivotal Bid
Onyx Software announced this morning that it has extended its offer to acquire Pivotal Corp. past its original Friday deadline. Onyx says it will keep the offer on the table until Pivotal's next shareholders meeting, which has been postponed until November 21.
The company has also reiterated that it its offer for Pivotal is superior to Pivotal's original plan to be bought by Oak Investment Partners, and to subsequently be merged with Talisma.
"We feel we are in a position where we are gathering a lot of momentum, and this acquisition just makes sense," says Patrick Angelel, vice president of marketing and alliances at Onyx. "It would increase the leadership position we already have in the midmarket."
An Onyx/Pivotal merger better benefits Pivotal customers and shareholders several ways, according to Angelel. It offers Pivotal's shareholders equity participation in what would be the second-largest pure-play CRM vendor. It is expected to result in $2 million in quarterly operational savings. It does not require financing as a condition. Last, it provides the opportunity for Pivotal employees and shareholders to participate in the possible upside of a publicly traded stock.
Although it initially rejected Onyx's offer, Pivotal has decided to postpone a shareholder vote on the Oak offer until Friday, so that it can give its shareholders the opportunity to review and understand recent developments, as well as a third acquisition offer from an unnamed party. Pivotal said on November 14 that the instability of Onyx's stock, coupled with other risks, made the two companies an ill-fitting merger.
"We have actively included Onyx throughout this whole process, keeping a dialogue with Onyx about what we wanted in a merger, and they did not meet our criteria," says Bo Manning, president and CEO of Pivotal. "For a small premium over the Oak deal, we would be trading off the certainty of a cash offer."
However, Sheryl Kingstone, CRM program manager at the Yankee Group, says the Onyx offer is superior when one looks farther down the road. "It is better than the deal with Talisma, [because] the two companies are stronger together," she says. "[Although] Oak has committed substantial capital to invest in the combined entities, the economies of scale and domain of expertise of the combined Onyx/Pivotal deal is better for the future."