Micro Focus takeover talks end with no deal

Micro Focus International has called off takeover talks after bids for the business fell short of expectations, the IT firm said as it announced its plans yesterday to resume a share buyback programme.

The company, which supports mainframe computer applications for businesses like the supermarket giant Tesco, said in May that it was exploring a number of approaches.

"The board set a deadline for final offers of August 19, 2011. Based on feedback now received from these parties, the board has terminated discussions and, as a result, Micro Focus is no longer in an offer period," it said.

Last week, shares in Micro Focus rose after Hewlett-Packard's blockbuster £7bn bid for FTSE 100-listed Autonomy ignited investor interest in the European software industry. Shares in Micro Focus closed at 263p apiece on Friday, valuing the business at about £520m.

The FTSE 250-listed company said that its share buyback programme would resume with immediate effect. It currently has shareholder authority to buy back up to 12.3 million shares, and has around £68m of distributable reserves.