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Onyx Makes A Play For Pivotal

If successful, the merger would create the second-largest "pure-play" CRM vendor.
Onyx Software Corp. has made an unsolicited bid to acquire rival mid-market customer-relationship-management vendor Pivotal Corp. The combination of Onyx and Pivotal would create the second-largest pure-play CRM vendor with more than 2,600 customers and annual revenue of more than $110 million, according to Brian Henry, executive VP and chief financial officer for Onyx.

Onyx also says the deal would provide investors a 26% premium over Pivotal's previously announced plans to be acquired by a venture-capital firm. Last month, Pivotal announced it had entered into an agreement to be acquired by Talisma Corp. in a cash transaction financed by Oak Investment Partners that is valued at $1.78 per share. Onyx has proposed acquiring Pivotal in a stock-for-stock transaction valued at $2.25 per common share of Pivotal stock, according to Onyx executives.

"We believe that Onyx is best positioned to deliver value from the Pivotal franchise and that the proposed combination will increase our leadership in mid-market CRM and accelerate our profitable growth," said Brent Frei, CEO of Onyx, in a statement Wednesday.

Pivotal issued no statement regarding the Onyx bid and didn't return calls Wednesday morning. The Talisma transaction is scheduled for a shareholder vote on Tuesday.

Onyx has reported a loss of $4.6 million on revenue of $45.4 million through the first three quarters of 2003, including a loss of $259,000 on revenue of $15.4 million in the third quarter ended Sept. 30. Pivotal reported a loss of $3 million on revenue of $13.3 million in the first quarter of its fiscal year 2004, ended Sept. 30. For fiscal year 2003, ended June 30, 2003, Pivotal reported a loss of $27.6 million on revenue of $56.1 million.