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By | Kelly Fiveash 13th December 2007 12:07

Northgate looks to private equity

Possible buy-out in the pipeline?

UK HR software firm Northgate said late yesterday that it was in possible takeover talks with an unnamed private equity group.

Northgate will be hoping that the potential buy-out could fetch a price of around 100 pence per share, which would value the firm at up to £580m, according to the Financial Times.

Earlier this week shares had fallen nearly 30 per cent after analysts downgraded Northgate's 2008 prospects following its first-half results.

The Hemel Hempstead-based firm, which punts much of its software and IT business to the public sector, said in a statement that it had noted "inaccurate market commentary" regarding its net debt covenants for the coming year.

It rebuffed those claims and said that it was trading "comfortably" within covenants.

Northgate reported Tuesday that it saw first-half turnover rise 49 per cent to £246.3m, on adjusted operating profit said to be up 23 per cent at £31.5m – in line with market expectations.

Shares are currently trading at 63.75 pence on the London Stock Exchange, down more than 10 per cent on the previous close.®

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