I think this is the article Eva was trying to share with us...  Thanks,
Eva...

The Globe and Mail, Wednesday, September  6, 2000
Geac looking to sell all or part of its units
  Ailing software firm says it has heard from two interested parties, but
analysts doubt a buyer would want all of its businesses
By Showwei Chu

Takeover artist Geac Computer Corp. Ltd. is itself on the auction block as
it weighs two offers for all or part of its ailing software business.
Geac of Toronto hasn't said if the offers were for all or parts of its
divisions, but analysts said it's unlikely anyone would be interested in
bidding for the entire firm.
"I don't think there's a buyer for the whole company because it's such a
hodgepodge of different businesses," said an analyst who declined to be
named.
The analyst pointed to the eclectic mix of Geac units, which include hotel
management systems, real estate software and enterprise resource planning
(ERP) software, which automates and manages a company's administrative
systems.
Analysts said the most likely scenario is that Geac's real estate
business-to-business division -- which Geac said in March it planned to
spin off -- would be sold, as well as its software unit that caters to the
hospitality industry.
In a news release, Geac said yesterday that it has hired CIBC World Markets
Inc. as a financial adviser to consider "transactions involving part or all
of its businesses," and that two "parties" have approached the firm to
discuss possible deals.
Further details weren't available from the company after Douglas Bergeron,
Geac's chief executive officer, declined to be interviewed on the matter.
"The company's not prepared to comment beyond the news release," a company
spokeswoman said on Mr. Bergeron's behalf. Geac is expected to release
fiscal first-quarter results at the close of trading next Monday and will
hold its annual general meeting a day later in Toronto.
The announcement drove the stock up 23 per cent to $12.75 on the Toronto
Stock Exchange yesterday on trading of 4.9 million shares. The stock was at
its highest price in seven weeks.
Some analysts said investors have been unhappy with Geac's strategy of
trying to consolidate the middle part of the ERP market -- typically a
business with annual revenue of about $500-million (U.S.) -- which was one
reason the stock has been in the doldrums lately. It further eroded
recently after Geac reported disappointing fourth-quarter earnings and
warned that revenue and earnings would be lower in the first two quarters
of fiscal 2001.
Some potential buyers for Geac could be other ERP software companies such
as SAP AG, PeopleSoft Inc., J.D. Edwards & Co., Computer Associates
International Inc. and International Business Machines Corp., analysts
said. IBM may be interested because it needs software for the 80,000 new
AS/400 mainframe computers it sells each year, and Geac has software for
that platform.
Ralph Garcea, a technology analyst at Credit Suisse First Boston, said Geac
could fetch a price between 1? and 2? times revenue, which was
$990.1-million (Canadian) in fiscal 2000. With a spinoff of assets, Geac
could realize a price of between 1? and three times revenue, Mr. Garcea
said.
Before yesterday's announcement, Geac was trading at about 0.7 times
trailing revenue, Mr. Garcea said.
"For the whole company at a minimum, I can't see it going for less than one
times revenue," Mr. Garcea said. "That's $15 a share."
David Wright, a software and services analyst at BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc.,
said he doesn't think a buyer for the entire company is likely because the
potential suitors mentioned haven't typically grown through acquisitions.
But he did speculate that Invensys Plc, which recently acquired struggling
Dutch software firm Baan Co. NV, may be looking for more businesses to buy.
However, Invensys spokeswoman Victoria Scarth said the company hasn't
publicly expressed an interest in Geac. "Even if we had, the company would
never comment on that kind of thing," she said.
Mr. Garcea and other analysts said it's more likely Geac will spin off
several business units, including Interealty.com, which supplies services
to about one-third of the real estate boards in North America, and the
hospitality systems unit. Revenue from each unit is about $100-million a
year.
Last month, the company agreed to sell its SmartStream Banking Systems
business for about $160-million in cash -- about 3.2 times its annual
revenue of about $50-million -- to a European venture capital group led by
3i Group PLC.
Geac has a shareholder rights plan in place, but it must be approved by
shareholders at the annual general meeting Sept. 12.


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