Iona takes one step closer to trade sale

20 Feb 2008

Iona Technologies has appointed prominent US financial services firm Lehman Brothers to advise its board on a potential sale of the company.

Iona, one of Ireland’s top technology success stories, received an unsolicited purchase offer in recent weeks.

Recent reports suggest that the likely bidder could be Software AG, a German IT giant that last year recorded profits of €88.4m on revenues of €631m.

Software AG, which employs 3,600 people, acquired US business process integration firm WebMethods last June for US$546m.

Iona said this afternoon that the appointment of Lehman Brothers was to evaluate the offer and to “advise its board of directors regarding strategic alternatives for the business, including, but not limited to, the sale of Iona or a merger of Iona with another entity offering strategic opportunities.”

Iona reiterated that there is no assurance that the initiation of a process to explore strategic alternatives will result in a transaction.

“Iona does not anticipate making another announcement in regard to this matter unless its board has approved a definitive transaction, or unless required by law or regulation,” the company said this afternoon.

In its most recent annual quarterly results Iona reported a pre-tax loss of US$1.7m based on revenues of US$77.7m for 2007.

By John Kennedy