According to a London Stock Exchange announcement this morning, the boards of Unit 4 Agresso and Coda plc (parent company of construction collaboration technology vendor Business Collaborator) have agreed the terms of a recommended cash offer for Coda, valuing the business at approximately £158m (see previous post).
The strategic rationale is to create “a leading pan-European mid-market enterprise resource planning (“ERP”) software solutions provider” that will be a “leading player in the UK, Benelux, Spain and the Nordic regions, with strengthened market positions in the French, German and US markets”. On the face of it, the focus on ERP doesn’t seem to encompass the activities of Business Collaborator, though – as previously noted – its experience of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) delivery may still be valuable to Coda as it launches a portfolio of SaaS-based financial applications (Coda2go) in conjunction with Salesforce.com. It is not, however, a major part of Coda. Business Collaborator accounted for just £2.35m (4.4%) of Coda’s £53.5m turnover in 2006, but its revenues have been growing, up 18% in the first six months of 2007, and it is profitable.
The Business Collaborator team are at least used to changes of ownership. Established in Reading in 1997, it was part of the software solutions arm of the Enviros environmental consulting and software group until acquired by CodaSciSys in April 2003 for £2.82m. In September 2006, CodaSciSys demerged, Business Collaborator becoming a specialist subsidiary of Coda plc.