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Buyout firm bids for Mercator

Strategic Software Holdings, which owns nearly 5 percent of Mercator Software's stock, has made an unsolicited all-cash bid for the company worth nearly $75 million.

Strategic Software Holdings has made an unsolicited all-cash bid for Mercator Software worth nearly $75 million.

Strategic Software, which owns nearly 5 percent of Mercator's stock, made its acquisition proposal Monday in a letter to Mercator's board of directors, Strategic Software said in a statement.

"We have concerns that the value of Mercator is not being maximized for the benefit of stockholders," said Chairman Rodney Bienvenu in the letter. "Over the past several months, SSH has approached several members of your management team and board to discuss working together to develop a plan for stopping the hemorrhage of value that has occurred under current leadership. After careful review of our options, we have concluded that it would be desirable for SSH to acquire Mercator."

Strategic Software, an investment and buyout firm, has offered to acquire Mercator for $2.17 in cash per common share, 40 percent over the $1.55 closing price on Friday. The company said it hopes to meet with Mercator to discuss the deal on Tuesday.

Mercator, based in Wilton, Conn., sells software designed to help companies stitch together incompatible business systems.

A Mercator spokesman confirmed that the company had received the letter and said its management is considering the bid. "We are studying it carefully and will give it all due consideration," he said.

Earlier this month, Mercator said Strategic Software disclosed a plan to replace Mercator's board of directors at the company's next annual meeting in May.

Mercator, which competes with IBM, Vitria and WebMethods, has seen sales decline as companies have slashed investments in information technology.