Friday, 1 August 2008

Anite sells Public Sector business - at last!

Wait long enough and all your predictions come about. We have certainly waited too long to bring you the news that Anite has at last found a buyer for its Public Sector business. the buyer - Surprise, Surprise - is Northgate which has been the favoured purchaser all along. Northgate is paying £54.3 in cash for a business which has revenues of £62.4m and operating profits of £5.6m in the year to Apr 08. The consideration is above expectations which has caused Anite's shares to rise 7% to 37p this morning giving Anite a valuation of £126m.

The Anite sale comes hot on the heels of considerable 'consolidation' in the UK public sector SITS sector with majors like Northgate, Civica and IBS all being acquired in the last year. Indeed, as I have said before, this just leaves IDOX and I now wouldn't give them long as a public company.

My friend George O'Connor at Panmure Gordon advises Anite "Don't Stop Now!" in its disposal programme. I agree. It ought to put its diverse portfolio up for sale (in a subtle manner of course) That's why George (like me) recoiled in horror when Anite said in its statement that it intended to use the proceeds from the Public sector business sale to provide funds for further acquisitions. Surely the last thing it now needs to do.

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