Buy out funds in bid to buy SunGard Data Systems

Buy out funds in bid to buy SunGard Data Systems

A private equity consortium led by San Francisco-based Silver Lake Partners is in talks to buy SunGard Data Systems for $10 billion.

The consortium, which is believed to include Texas Pacific Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners, has been holding discussions with SunGard for the past several weeks about buying the software and processing-services company and taking it private.

SunGard confirmed the talks as the US markets opened Monday. Shares in the vendor jumped $5.30 on Instinet to $30.25 as the news broke, after closing Friday at $24.95 on the New York Stock Exchange. A $10 billion pricetag indicates a 39% premium on Friday's closing prices.

In a statement, the SunGard board says advisors and management have been authorised to engage in discussions, while at the same time proceeding with the planned spin-off of the company's Availability Services business. The spin off was initially scheduled to take place in Q1 2005, but that dateline has since been extended to the second quarter.

SunGard's advisors in the talks are Credit Suisse First Boston and Shearman & Sterling, which had already been retained in connection with the spin-off.

SunGard says there can be no assurances a deal will be reached with the buy out consortium and will not comment further on the discussions.

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