Oxford-based Portrait’s shares rose by 30% to 30 pence after Pitney Bowes’ UK arm, which was created from the merger of Group 1 Software and MapInfo, made a recommended cash offer priced at 31 pence per share.
The deal valued Portrait at £44.4 million – a premium of 38% over its share price at yesterday’s close. Portrait’s directors and some other shareholders, who together represent about 56.52% of the firm’s stock, have already given irrevocable undertakings in relation to the transaction.
Pitney Bowes said that the purchase would enable it to boost the functionality of existing offerings, while Portrait would be in a position to exploit its scale, capital position and presence in 130 countries worldwide.
The US company’s core business is providing systems to process the post, but it has invested $2.5 billion in 83 software and services acquisitions since 2000 to move into areas such as document, records and information management.
In a separate announcement, Portrait said that, for its financial year that ended on 31 March 2010, it had seen licence sales increase by 87% after completing more than twice as many deals in both Europe and the Americas as last year.
Luke McKeever, the firm’s chief executive, said: "We are very pleased with the company’s performance this last year during which time we have extended our product offering, improved our sales and marketing and delivered profitable growth."
Trading in the current year had also "started well", he added.