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By | Kelly Fiveash 14th January 2008 12:15

Coda in takeover talks with Agresso

SAASy move

Financial software supplier Coda PLC has confirmed it received an "indicative" cash offer from Dutch rival Unit 4 Agresso NV. Talk of the possible takeover bid saw shares rocket by 17 per cent this morning to 200.5 pence per share.

A trading statement, issued today, said the Aim-listed firm expects pre-tax earnings and sales to be ahead of market forecasts for the year ended 31 December 2007.

Coda said the 205 pence per share cash offer, which it described as an "indicative approach", from Netherlands-based biz software management firm Unit 4 Agresso on 18 December, was at an "advanced stage" and that a "limited due diligence exercise should proceed". It will provide a further update about the deal before the end of this month.

The firm said cash flows for the year had been robust with £12.8m on the balance sheet compared to £1.8m in 2006.

Coda reckoned the outlook for 2008 remains positive and in line with its current earnings expectations, buoyed by "strong pipelines for all product streams".

The firm plans to plump up investment in the development and distribution of its software as a service (SAAS) product, CODA2go. It signed a deal with Salesforce.com last September to increase distribution of its SAAS offering, but it isn't expecting a return on investment for at least three or four years.

It said its Business Collaborator Arm unit had performed well during the year having inked juicy contracts with EDF Energy and The Bowen Group.

Coda's preliminary results will be dished up on 13 March, 2008. ®

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