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SSA Global seeks $200 million IPO

The expected stock debut may be another sign of increasing confidence in the business software market. SSA Global says it would use some of the cash infusion on more acquisitions.

Software maker SSA Global Technologies seeks to raise as much as $200 million in an initial public offering of its stock, according to a Friday regulatory filing.

The Chicago company, which sells business-management software, intends to use the proceeds of its public stock offering to repay debt and to fund acquisitions and general operations, the filing states.

SSA Global earned $51.9 million in net profits on $297.4 million in revenue in the year ending July 31, 2003, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

The company has grown largely through acquisition, gobbling up distressed businesses including Dutch software maker Baan and a software applications division of Computer Associates International. A majority of its revenue comes from maintenance fees from 13,000 customers, which consist mainly of midsize business with less than $1 billion in annual revenue.

The company has 3 percent of the $21 billion market for enterprise resource planning software, an arena in which it faces off against SAP, PeopleSoft, Oracle and Microsoft, according to AMR Research. Its majority owners are Cerberus Capital Management and General Atlantic Partners.

The bankers leading the IPO are Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse First Boston. The company plans to offer its shares on the Nasdaq National Market under the stock ticker symbol "SSAG."

The business software market is emerging from a rough patch, and the moment appears ripe for IPOs from companies in the field. Salesforce.com and RightNow Technologies, which sell subscription software systems, have each registered to offer their shares for public trading this year.