Iona Technologies, the Nasdaq-listed enterprise software company conceived at Trinity College Dublin in 1991, today confirmed it has received an unsolicited takeover offer.
In Dublin, shares in the company have risen 25pc on the back of the news.
Iona said it had received “unsolicited preliminary expression of interest from a third party to acquire the company”, which could lead to an offer being made to acquire all outstanding shares.
“It should be emphasised that the expression of interest is very preliminary and is subject to a number of conditions. Accordingly, no assurances can be given that a formal offer will be forthcoming or that any transaction will occur.
“The company does not anticipate making another announcement in regard to this matter unless a definitive transaction is agreed to, other than as may be required by applicable law.”
Iona grew from obscurity in the distributed computing group labs at TCD to become a force to be reckoned with in the middleware space. Having clinched deals with major firms like Boeing, the company went on to list on the Nasdaq stock exchange in 1997, achieving the fifth-highest initial public offering (IPO) in Nasdaq history at that time.
However, since the technology downturn the company has struggled to grow revenues and maintain profitability. In recent years, the company introduced new software oriented architecture (SOA) products and has made various acquisitions in this space.
In its recent annual results, Iona reported a pre-tax loss of US$1.7m for the financial year 2007, compared with a profit of US$3.6m the previous year, due to share compensation and other expenses.
The Nasdaq-listed company’s revenue declined only marginally to US$77.7m in 2007 from US$77.8m a year earlier.
By John Kennedy