A third party has announced a bid for Vancouver-based CRM vendor Pivotal Corp., causing the firm to adjourn a board meeting to give itself more time to examine its options.

In a statement, Pivotal said its Special Committee will need to “fully evaluate an unsolicited highly conditional proposal which has been presented to Pivotal by a new party” as well as give shareholders time to consider the board’s response to a previous offer from Onyx Software Corp. As reported on Monday by IT World Canada, Pivotal denied that offer. [Please see Pivotal rejects Onyx bid.]

On Tuesday the company was set to mull over the first placed bid from Oak Investment Partners, an investment firm which intends to combine Pivotal and Talsima Corp., a Microsoft Corp.-based e-service solutions provider. Oak was prepared to offer approximately US$47 million for the Canadian company.

But the news of another offer has caused a change of plans. Hong Kong-based Chinadotcom Corp. said Tuesday that it is the one proposing the new bid, offering Pivotal shareholders a choice of either US$2 cash per share or a mix of cash and Chinadotcom shares. At US$2 cash per share, the offer values Pivotal at approximately US$52 million. Chinadotcom also offered Pivotal US$20 million in bridge financing to sustain the company until the acquisition could be completed.

Chinadotcom said Pivotal would become part of its CDC Software subsidiary, a unit Chinadotcom is working to shape into a full-service enterprise resource planning (ERP) software vendor. Growth through acquisition is the company’s strategy. CDC Software recently bought European developer CIP-Global ApS’s Executive Suite analytics software, and purchased a controlling stake in supply-chain management software maker Industri-Matematik International Corp. The company expects to complete by early next year its US$69 million purchase of manufacturing industry ERP software vendor Ross Systems Inc.

“It is important to note that the new proposal being evaluated by the Special Committee is at a preliminary stage. The Special Committee has not yet determined whether this new proposal is reasonably likely to result in a transaction which is superior to the agreement currently in place with the Oak/Talisma Group and there can be absolutely no assurance that this proposal will ultimately develop into such an offer,” Pivotal said in a statement.

Pivotal has rescheduled its board meeting for Friday, Nov. 21. The company is on the Web at www.pivotal.com.

– With files from IDG News Service