Misys boss set to leave as takeover talks collapse

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The Independent Online

Kevin Lomax, the founder and chief executive of Misys, is likely to leave the software company after takeover talks over a management buyout dramatically collapsed. The company will now be under intense pressure to detail a new strategy when it faces angry shareholders at its annual general meeting on Wednesday.

The software company announced late last night that takeover talks have been abandoned despite holding months of negotiations with various potential bidders. Misys revealed in June that it had been approached about a £1bn management buyout led by Mr Lomax. An independent committee was established, led by chairman Sir Dominic Cadbury, and talks were held with parties including private equity companies Permira and General Atlantic Partners and industry rivals Fiserv and SunGard.

But little progress was made and this month Misys revealed that although talks were continuing, it had yet to receive an acceptable offer. Shares closed yesterday at 226.25p.

Misys said in a statement that despite further talks, an acceptable offer still had not materialised so it "terminated the offer process with immediate effect". It added: "The Independent Committee has given consideration throughout this process to the management issues which would arise as a result of (the) termination of the offer process. A further announcement on these issues will be made shortly."

A spokesman for the company declined to comment on potential management changes in the wake of the collapse of takeover talks. But shareholders are likely to demand Mr Lomax exit the company he founded in 1979.

Misys will be under pressure to detail a cogent strategy at its AGM. Reports had already surfaced that some shareholders were likely to abstain or vote against the re-election of some executives, including Mr Lomax and Sir Dominic.

Misys faced angry investors at its AGM last year when Mr Lomax defended a controversial management bonus scheme that was eventually abandoned. Mr Lomax was also forced to split his role as chief executive and chairman by appointing Sir Dominic as chairman.

During the protracted bidding process, Misys was approached by three former directors of the company - Ross Graham, John Sussens and Mike O'Leary - regarding a management walk-in.