SDL to buy Alterian after raising bid

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The Independent Online

SDL, the UK translation group, is set to secure beleaguered marketing technology group Alterian after lifting its bid by more than a third to £68.4m.

SDL, which is headed by executive chairman Mark Lancaster, had tabled an 80p per share offer in October, which the Alterian board rejected "unequivocally".

After several months of discussions it upped the offer to 110p per share. Alterian's independent directors now consider the terms to be "fair and reasonable" and gave the deal their blessing.

The offer is a 73 per cent premium to the share price close the day before SDL first approached with an offer. New Alterian boss Heath Davies had been working through a 100-day plan to turn the company around. Today is Day 84.

Phil Cartmell, the chairman of Alterian, said the directors recommended the offer "having considered it in the light of the changes that have been made to the business as part of the recently announced transformation programme".

Giles Leather, an analyst at Panmure Gordon, said: "Big acquisitions are always hard to digest, Alterian's track record is poor but we have always rated the products."