Lexmark makes offer on Swedish software company

ctruman@herald-leader.comMay 8, 2014 

Logo behind reception desk at Lexmark in Lexington, Ky., on Aug. 28, 2012. Photo by Pablo Alcala | Staff

PABLO ALCALA — Lexington Herald-Leader Buy Photo

Continuing its long string of acquisitions of information systems companies over the past four years, Lexmark International Inc. has begun a cash tender offer for all of the outstanding shares of Sweden-based ReadSoft.

The offer is about $182 million, or $6.11 in cash for each Series A and Series B share of ReadSoft, Lexington-based Lexmark said this week.

ReadSoft's board of directors has unanimously recommended in favor of Lexmark's tender offer, which is supported by ReadSoft's two largest shareholders.

That Lexmark would continue to broaden its business information empire is no surprise.

Lexmark's chairman and CEO, Paul Rooke, said last month that the company has set a goal to achieve $500 million in software revenue by the end of 2016, and "the acquisition element is a part of our strategy."

ReadSoft will be combined with Lexmark's Perceptive Software unit. With the addition of ReadSoft, Perceptive Software will significantly increase its software presence with additional capabilities in document process automation and the expansion of its footprint in Europe, Lexmark said in a news release.

ReadSoft's technology and market presence complement Perceptive Software, strengthening its position as a leading provider of intelligent data-capture software solutions for back-office processes, the company said.

ReadSoft is a provider of software solutions that automate business processes, both in the office and in the cloud. Its software captures, classifies, sorts and routes both hard copy and digital business documents, provides approval work flows and automatically extracts and verifies relevant data before depositing it into a customer's records.

Its technology integrates with systems that include invoice processing, accounts payable automation and sales order processing. It also automates business processes including claims, applications and questionnaires.

ReadSoft, founded in 1991 and headquartered in Helsingborg, Sweden — a coastal city about 45 miles from Malmö, in the southern part of the country — has about 625 employees. Its 2013 revenue was $117 million. The company has more than 12,000 customers in 70 countries worldwide, according to Lexmark.

In the past several years, Lexmark has seen a string of global acquisitions that have expanded the company's business beyond its legacy business of building printers.

Cheryl Truman: (859) 231-3202. Twitter: @CherylTruman.

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