ASX-listed Altium rejects 'undervalued' buyout offer from Autodesk

(Reuters) -Australia-listed software maker Altium on Monday rejected an “undervalued” buyout proposal from U.S. peer Autodesk Inc but kept the door open for a better offer, helping its shares trade at near six-month highs.

The U.S. firm, which makes architecture designing software AutoCAD, offered Altium A$38.50 for each share, a 41.5% premium to its last closing price, valuing the company at A$5.05 billion ($3.91 billion).

San Diego, California-based Altium said it “rejects the proposal at the current price”, adding it will engage with interested parties for an appropriate valuation and pursue a “review of all potential strategic alternatives”.

Its shares, which soared as much as 40.6% to mark their biggest intraday gain in more than a decade following the announcement, closed 39% higher at A$37.83 on Monday.

The proposal followed talks of a strategic partnership between the two companies, with Autodesk looking to integrate Altium’s electronics designing software with its engineering and manufacturing software platforms to provide its users with a host of applications under one cloud network.

The phrasing “at the current price” potentially alludes to the willingness to complete a deal at a higher price, analysts at brokerage RBC Capital said in a note.

“It is unlikely Autodesk would return with a materially higher bid for Altium. However, Autodesk may incrementally increase its offer to gain further engagement from Altium’s board,” the note added.

When asked by Reuters, a spokesperson for Autodesk said the U.S. company was willing to engage further with Altium.

($1 = 1.2923 Australian dollars)

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