Standard Life has made a recommended £42 million bid for UK AIM-listed financial technology supplier Focus Solutions.
The cash offer from Standard Life values Focus at 140 pence per share, a 33% premium over the firm's closing price of 105 pence in November, when it announced that it was formally in discussions over a potential bid.
Focus provides multi-channel distribution technology to IFAs, bancassurers, wealth managers, product providers and mortgage lender.
News of the Standard Life bid comes as the company celebrates a set of strong interim results, with H1 revenues up 25% to £5.4 million and £1.1 million operating profit. The financials have been boosted by the company's largest ever order from a global bank, valued at £10 million over two years.
Standard Life says the acquisition will help it to capitalise on the "significant opportunities arising from regulatory and demographic trends in its core markets". Earlier this year, the Scotland-based life and pension group announced that it would broadly double its growth investment in 2010 based on the delivery of technology tools and services for intermediaries and other distribution channels.
Standard Life says the integration of Focus' technology with its own Wrap platform will enable the firm "to deliver an end-to-end solution incorporating point of sale, customer relationship management, tax wrapper and investment trading" to its core intermediary market as well as help it to grow its retail bank and direct-to-consumer business.