Finnish Software Firm Basware Confirms Takeover Bid, Backed by Investors Including Ping An

By , and | November 20, 2018

Finnish software maker Basware confirmed the unsolicited takeover approach it received was from payment-technology startup Tradeshift Holdings Inc.

The indicative proposal came from San Francisco-based Tradeshift, Basware said in a statement Tuesday in response to a Bloomberg News report. The bid is backed by a group of U.S. investors and Ping An Insurance Group Co., the Chinese insurance giant that’s been building out its own financial technology platforms, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Basware rose 4.4 percent at 10:16 a.m. on Tuesday in Helsinki, headed for the highest close since Sept. 28, giving the company a market value of 511 million euros ($586 million).

Tradeshift made the offer last month, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Espoo-based Basware hasn’t received any confirmation that bid financing has been secured, and there’s no certainty a transaction will be made at a certain price, it said in the statement.

The suitor may offer a premium to Basware’s average share price over the last 12 months, which is about 38 euros a share, the people said, declining to disclose the exact offer price. The average premium on software deals this year is about 34 percent and was 23 percent in 2017, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Representatives for Tradeshift and Ping An declined to comment.

A deal could help Tradeshift better compete with software giants such as SAP SE and Oracle Corp. Basware, which is backed by hedge fund Arrowgrass Capital Partners, makes software that helps businesses manage expenses, run analytics on sales and expenses, issue invoices and procure supplies.

Tradeshift this year raised $250 million from investors including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Public Sector Pension Investment Board, valuing the company at $1.1 billion. The company was founded by Danish entrepreneurs Christian Lanng, Mikkel Hippe Brun and Gert Sylvest, who had previously created e-invoicing technology EasyTrade.

Envisioned as an “open business platform,” the firm’s technology helps companies connect with suppliers and make and receive payments faster, according to Tradeshift’s website. It also offers blockchain-based payments where businesses can use the technology to sell unpaid invoices to investors.

Topics Mergers Tech

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