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Nemetschek offers Ft 2,273 a share for rest of Graphisoft - extended

Nemetschek AG, a German maker of software used in construction and real-estate businesses, offered Ft 2,273 ($11.6) share to buy the 45.7% it doesn't already own in Hungarian rival Graphisoft SE.

Nemetschek is offering the same €9 ($11.6) per share it paid when it bought a majority stake in Graphisoft last month, it said in an e-mailed statement today. The German company will pay a total €95.6 million for Graphisoft. Munich-based Nemetschek, whose customers include Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Brothers studios, is expanding to spur growth. It's counting on the Graphisoft acquisition to help it compete with rivals such as Autodesk Inc. „The purchase of Graphisoft is of strategic importance for the Nemetschek Group,” CFO Ernst Homolka said in the statement. 

Nemetschek has submitted all of the necessary documentation for a public purchase offer of all outstanding shares of Hungarian peer Graphisoft, CEO Gerhard Wiess told a press conference in Budapest on Wednesday. The offer is expected to start within 15 days and run for 45 days afterward. WestLB Hungária and Erste Befektetési will organize the buyout. Managing director of WesgLB Hungária Gábor Kurutz noted that Nemetschek is offering a 22.8% premium over the 180-day average turnover-weighted price of the shares. Nemetschek earlier purchased a 54.3% stake in Graphisoft from its biggest owners for €50 million. Nemetschek will exercise its squeeze-out option if it acquires more than 90% of Graphisoft in the buyout, he added. "Our long term aim is to acquire 100% of Graphisoft shares," Homolka said.

Graphisoft chairman Gábor Bojár said the board had backed the buyout offer because the company would have struggled to cope alone on a quickly expanding market. Graphisoft decided to look for an ally and test its price, he said. Nemetschek reckons with turnover, including Graphisoft's, of more than €140 million in 2007 and an annual €150 million in the medium term. Preliminary figures show Nemetschek alone had revenue of more than €100 million in 2006, Homolka said. Gábor Bojár told MTI that Graphisoft had not compiled such figures.

Both Nemetschek and Graphisoft are leaders on the global market for architectural and engineering design and construction (AEC) software solutions. Graphisoft's newly developed software product Construction, launched in 2005, will have an interesting perspective, Homolka said. He added that the division is expected to break even soon. The Construction division had operating losses of €2.26 million in H1 2006. „The two innovative and growth-oriented companies will operate independently, develop new products and services, and get new clients.” Weiss said. (Bloomberg, Mti-Eco)