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Mystery rival forces Borland bidding war

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A bidding war over tools pioneer Borland Software has broken out between MicroFocus and a mystery rival.

MicroFocus has been forced to bump up its proposed purchase price for Borland for the second time, going 50 per cent over its initial offer of $1.00 per share, or $75m. MicroFocus will now offer $1.50 a share, or $113m.

Application-lifecycle-management specialist MicroFocus upped its offer following an "indication of interest from another party." It's not clear whether it's the same party that also made an offer in June - an move that saw MicroFocus increase its bid to $1.15, or $88m.

MicroFocus has pinned its future on Borland's ALM in a deal it called the "next logical stage" in its growth. The company wants to dive deeper into application testing and software quality. MicroFocus currently serves this with its Data Express product and has announced its plan to buy Compuware's application-testing business for $80m.

Borland will provide MicroFocus with tools and consoles for visual modeling and design, requirements definition and management, and change management.

According to MicroFocus, its offer for Borland is "based on strong strategic rationale and is therefore in the best interests of both companies, their employees, customers and shareholders."

The offer has been unanimously recommended by the board of Borland to its shareholders, who are schedule to meet on July 17 to vote on the proposed deal.

The tools part of the Borland, where the company made its name in Rapid Application Development in the 1980s and early 1990s with the ground-breaking TurboPascal and Turbo C that challenged Microsoft, have already been sold to Embarcadero Technologies in a deal priced $23m. The ALM suite MicroFocus is chasing was an early 2000s strategy that failed to gel for Borland. ®

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