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Takeover rumours continue around Sage

More than 20 years of uninterrupted earnings growth, but future remains uncertain

An increase in the share price of UK accountancy software firm Sage this week has led to further speculation that the company is an imminent takeover target.

Rumours about the likes of IBM and Microsoft circling the firm were rife all summer.

Following a 5 percent share price increase this week, George O'Connor, of investment bank Panmure Gordon, said "it may be Symphony, KKR, Vista, SAP, Microsoft, IBM, it maybe even my aunt Doris", reflecting the continuous rumours surrounding Sage and maybe the City's frustration in seeing nothing happen up to now.

The last set of results posted by Sage saw business growth in the North American market, and sales in the UK and Ireland helping to offset a flat market in most Eurozone countries. The company also recently entered the large Brazilian market through acquisition.

Richard Holway, founder of analyst firm TechMarketView, said, "I'm afraid we have been here so many times before in the last decade (or more). But, what is certain, is that one day the rumours will be true. Sage has rather run out of steam. The UK's London Stock Exchange will then lose its very last FTSE100 software company - a truly sad day."

Holway pointed out that Sage would be a good acquisition for someone to take the company to a new level, as it had already had "a truly fantastic run with 22 years of uninterrupted earnings growth since the 1989 IPO".

Sage UK is planning to expand its developers' programme in 2013, which will allow companies to integrate their own offerings with Sage products and customise them for their own market segments.


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