BAE offers to buy Norkom for €217m

14 Jan 2011

Global defence and security firm BAE Systems has offered to buy Irish financial software company Norkom for €217m or €2.10 per share.

The boards of BAE Systems and Norkom said this morning they have reached an agreement on the terms of a cash offer from BAE Systems Holdings.

Norkom provides many of the world’s leading banks with technology to counter financial crime.

The CEO of BAE Ian King said countering financial crime is a priority for governments and financial institutions.

Fast-growing cyber and intelligence services sector

“The combination will result in a significantly enhanced offering for customers and present an opportunity for accelerated growth for the BAE Systems Group in the fast-growing cyber and intelligence services sector,” King said.

The offer by BAE represents a premium of 36pc of the closing price of €1.54 per Norkom share on 13 January 2011 and an 82pc premium on the average daily closing price per Norkom share over the last six months of €1.15 per share.

The sale of Norkom, which was founded by a team led by Paul Kerley in 1998, will provide Trinity Venture Capital Holdings plc, which has a 28.9pc stake in the company with a return of €41.7m – 121pc over the undisturbed share price on 25 November last.

The board of Norkom has said it unanimously recommends shareholders accept the offer from BAE.

“In completing this transaction, Norkom will be further strengthened by the scale, reputation and resources of BAE Systems,” Kerley said. “I am delighted that within BAE Systems we have found a home for Norkom that shares the same enthusiasm and ambition to build a truly great company in a growing market space.

“Norkom’s technology platform, together with BAE Systems’ complementary technology and rich knowledge of the security space, will create a fantastic opportunity to bring additional offerings to the market. BAE Systems has an enviable record in how it values and respects the people that make it successful. It gives me great pleasure to see Norkom become part of BAE Systems’ family and I look forward to our continued success together,” Kerley said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years