Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Solidus Bids on Verus but SAGE Prevails

Verus is going to be acquired by SAGE but Solidus gave it the ole' college try. Here's the story...

Verus gets rival bid, says it'll sell to Sage

A San Francisco payment systems provider has made a rival bid to acquire Verus Financial Management Inc. of Nashville, but Verus sent information to shareholders saying it still is recommending the deal with British software firm The Sage Group.

Earlier this month, Sage agreed to buy Verus for $325 million in cash.

Solidus Networks Inc., whose Pay By Touch fingerprint payment systems is used mainly by grocery chains, offered $325 million in cash, preferred stock worth $75 million and an incentive pool of $25 million to be paid out to Verus' management. Solidus plans to pay $50 million of the $325 million of cash at the closing and the other $275 million 120 days later based on its obtaining financing on satisfactory terms, according to "supplemental information" received by shareholders of Verus.

Rich Roberts, chief executive of payment processor Verus, said the company still plans to complete the deal with Sage as early as next week. He cited that deal being more certain since it is not dependent on Sage needing to arrange financing. He also cited potential of accepting another deal creating legal issues and provisions in Solidus' offer such as "due diligence" that allows Solidus potentially to walk away.