smartFOCUS agrees £25.3m US bid

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Marketing software outfit smartFOCUS (STF) has accepted a £25.3 million cash offer, backed by leading technology investor Francisco Partners.

Marketing software outfit smartFOCUS (STF) has accepted a £25.3 million cash offer, backed by leading technology investor Francisco Partners.

The firm making the offer is newly incorporated Emailvision Holdings, but this is the holding company of the Emailvision Group – a worldwide leader in on-demand software with over 3,000 clients worldwide. AIM quoted smartFOCUS has had a patchy record since joining the market in 2004, but is a global provider of email and multi-channel marketing.

It provides detailed analysis and customer insight and in the year to 31 December boosted sales 17 per cent to £13.9 million as pre-tax profits soared 78 per cent to £872,000. The 25p a share cash bid represents a 61.3 per cent premium to the closing price on Friday, and has already received acceptances from 51.7 per cent of shareholders.

Growth Company Investor suggested backing the shares at 19p last March, so the news today is a welcome outcome for shareholders. Prior to the bid house broker Arbuthnot was forecasting 2011 pre-tax profits of £1.09 million and EPS of 0.8p. The recommended offer represents an exit multiple of just over 31 times earnings. Accept.

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