Accelio board rejects Open Text bid

Three weeks after receiving it, Accelio Corp CEO A. Kevin Francis announced Monday that the company’s board of directors voted unanimously to reject Open Text’s unsolicited takeover bid.

The deal – which saw Open Text offer $2.75 per Accelio share – would have been worth $68.5 million.

Francis, who earlier called the offer “insulting”, said the bid “does not recognize the full value of Accelio given its significant growth potential.” He added that the company has made substantial progress in the past 18 months in revamping its integrated solutions and in re-branding globally.

CIBC World Markets, an investment banking firm currently acting as a financial advisor role to the board, called the offer “financially inadequate,” Francis said.

As a result of the recommendations, other options are being pursued, Accelio says.

“CIBC world Markets is developing as many alternatives in response to this unsolicited bid as possible. We are exploring a wide variety of alternatives to represent our shareholders,” Francis said.

Those options could include finding another buyer, seeking a higher offer from Open Text, or the company may decide to remain independent. Francis refused to speculate on the possible scenarios, only admitting that discussions with other organizations had taken place and that ultimately, the board would act in the best financial interest of its shareholders.

Open Text began purchasing shares of Accelio as early as March 2001, and it is estimated that it now owns 14 per cent of all shares in the company.

Open Text’s offer expires on Feb. 4, and the board is recommending shareholders not tender their common shares to the Open Text bid.

All Open Text interview requests were met with a “no comment” from a company spokesperson.

Open Text in Waterloo, Ont., can be reached at

Accelio in Ottawa can be reached at

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