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Sage acquires Timberline

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Sage is to buy Timberline Software, a US developer of financial and operations software, for $91m net cash.

The transaction will be conducted through Best Software, Sage's US subsidiary. Post-completion, Timberline will operate as a wholly-owned subsidary of Best.

Timberline is a vertical play for Sage. The company produces software for SMEs in the real estate and construction sectors. It claims c.20,000 customers and sells both direct and through dealers.

Sales for 2002 was $61.9 million, of which just over half was recurring maintenance and service revenues. Operating profits were $2.1 million - a puny amount for a company of Timberline's turnover and profile

The Sage deal represents a 33 per cent premium on Timberline's closing share price yesterday and is unanimously recommended by its board. The takeover is of course subject to the usual approvals. ®

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