Any news of an accountancy software firm's merger is about as exciting as hearing a couple of woolly dinosaurs mating in the primeval swamps.
But there have been some developments in the aftermath of Sage's approach to Pegasus which already have accountancy insiders shaking their abacuses in anticipation.
The unique nature of business accountancy has isolated it from the usual cutthroat competition of the software world. The differences in currency and tax law usually leave foreign competitors standing.
There have been persistent rumours lately that there was a new kid on the block and the best guess was Tetra, which has moved decidedly upmarket.
Exact has also been moving on to the acquisition trail, and Pegusus' shareholders may still have to grapple with a new bid from them.
But it was Sage that Pegasus had to worry about last week, and it managed to repel the initial attack with a minimum of fuss. But the inevitable process of consolidation has started.
The entire accountancy software industry seems to be on the acquisition trail and in the case of Pegasus and Sage it now depends on only one factor - price. Pegasus CEO Jonathan Hubbard-Ford may well believe the Sage offer undervalues Pegasus at 425p per share, but the haggling has started and who knows what price Exact will come in at?
It is almost September, and Sage, as was pointed out to me this week by Jyoti Banerjee of accountancy software analyst Tate Bramald Consultancy, was already late into the year without buying anyone. And that would be out of character, judging by the past four years.
The timing of this bid is not just determined by corporate strategy plans.
Sage is already late with the new version of Sovereign and a merger would enable it to move into more vertical market sectors with a suite of products suitable for almost all pockets. And it would ease their problems with Sovereign. It would also make sense of the rumours that they are hiring people with product development programming experience.
For the reseller, margins may very well get tweaked again as prices go up and Pegasus' customers find themselves paying the same as Sage users.
Good news for the shareholders. Bad luck for users.
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