Unit4 Gains on Private-Equity Takeover Interest: Amsterdam Mover

Unit4 NV, a Dutch software provider, rose the most in five years after saying it received interest from private-equity companies for a takeover at a price of as much as 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion).

Unit4 gained as much as 17 percent, the biggest intraday jump since October 2008, and was up 14 percent at 33.30 euros as of 10:06 a.m. in Amsterdam, valuing the company at 989 million euros ($1.3 billion).

“Following these approaches, Unit4 has engaged in exploratory discussions,” the Sliedrecht-based company said in an e-mailed statement today. The companies showed interest in paying as much as 35 euros a share, Unit 4 said. “There is no certainty that these discussions will lead to a public offer being made.”

Unit4 said it appointed ING Groep NV and Oppenheimer as financial advisers and De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek as legal advisers.

“Assuming that an undisclosed private equity party pays 35 euros per share, we feel that shareholders should accept that offer,” Martijn den Drijver, an Amsterdam-based analyst at SNS Securities, said in a note today. SNS cut its recommendation to sell from hold following the takeover interest.

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