British software company Sage Group has offered to buy Visma, a business-management software vendor based in Oslo.
Visma offers business productivity services such as debt collection and employment services, among others. The company, which caters to Scandinavian small and medium-size businesses, fits into Sage's strategy of expanding into new markets, said Paul Walker, Sage's chief executive officer, in a statement.
The offer, for £334 million, which has been recommended by Visma's board of directors, is subject to due diligence. The offer represents a 19 percent premium over Visma's average share price over the last 20 days.
The acquisition would be one of Sage's largest but is a safe play, wrote David Bradshaw, principal analyst for Ovum. Sage will be tasked with trying to raise Visma's profits, but the acquisition will allow Sage to move into Sweden, the largest economy in the Nordic region, Bradshaw wrote.
"In the past, software vendors have shied away from anything that looks like a business service because it dilutes their operating margin," Bradshaw wrote in a commentary. "We will be very interested to monitor Sage's progress."
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