Misys ex-directors seek comeback

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The Independent Online

Three former executive board directors of the software group Misys have offered to return to the company and run it to stop shareholders selling out on the cheap to takeover offers.

The company's independent directors and shareholders are considering £1bn-plus bids, from a management buyout proposal headed by chief executive Kevin Lomax and a separate offer from Permira and General Atlantic Partners. Sun Guard, a US financial data business, is interested in buying parts of Misys.

The Misys board meets this week to decide on the takeover offers. The last-minute intervention has come from former group managing director John Sussens, who joined the company in 1989 and served as MD for four years until 2004, together with Mike O'Leary, who led at various times the Financial Services Division, the Healthcare Division and the Business Systems Division until he left in 2000, and Ross Graham, who was group finance director for 10 years until 2003.

The trio, who have support from investors speaking for a quarter of Misys' shares, say the takeover offers "fall short of delivering fair value for shareholders", which they hope to secure instead within two years.

Their "management walk-in" plan involves separating the company's three businesses, which would be sold or demerged; divisional management and employees would be re-incentivised; and costs would be cut through decentralisation of management. Mr Lomax would not be involved. In return, the three would be entitled to 2 per cent of any value created above the level of the takeover offers now available. The Permira offer is pitched at 250p a share, valuing Misys at £1.4bn.