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Plasmon takeover talks fail

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The talks between Plasmon and a private equity firm trying to take over the business have terminated. Plasmon's shares have been temporarily suspended on the London stock exchange.

Plasmon sells archive systems which include archive software, disk storage, and optical disk drive storage. It has an agreement with NetApp regarding disk storage and has just announced a relationship with IBM in which Plasmon’s UDO Archive Appliance is being combined with IBM’s Hot Site Recovery Service. File Net P8 customers get the features of archival disk and optical media in a single system.

At the beginning of September, Plasmon's board decided it could no longer fund the business which was seeking fresh working capital in the face of a sales slowdown. It recommended a takeover approach from a US-based private equity firm to shareholders.

For the firm, CEO Steven Murphy said it was business as usual while this investment possibility was being followed up. However, a statement today "confirms that these discussions have terminated. In the circumstances, Plasmon has requested, and the FSA (Financial Services Authority) has confirmed, an immediate suspension of the listing of the ordinary shares of the Company on the Official List of the FSA."

It is understood that discussions with other potential investors are ongoing and talks are moving forwards. Plasmon staff are said to be "extremely positive about the opportunities that are there." Obviously, things are extremely fluid in the financial area given the situation facing banks, investment houses, and so forth. One commentator said wryly that it is not the best time to be looking for refinancing. ®

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