Fight for Pivotal persists

In an eleventh hour delay, the midmarket CRM vendor postponed a vote on the friendly Oak Investment takeover offer and agreed to open talks with CDC Software, another suitor.

The tug-of-war over midmarket CRM vendor Pivotal Corp. should continue until at least next month.

On Friday, the Vancouver, British Columbia-based firm postponed its scheduled shareholder vote on a friendly takeover offer from private equity firm Oak Investment Partners to open talks with another suitor, CDC Software.

Investors are now due to weigh in on Oak's $48 million cash offer on Dec. 3. If successful, Oak has said it would merge Pivotal with e-service software firm Talisma Inc.

Meantime, Pivotal said Friday that it has received permission from Oak to negotiate with CDC in an attempt to strike a "superior transaction," as well as give CDC access to materials for its due diligence investigation.

In a release, Pivotal said it will give CDC until Nov. 30 to complete due diligence and wrap up talks about a possible buyout.

CDC, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Chinadotcom, has offered Pivotal shareholders either $2 per share in cash or $2.14 in cash and stock. Pivotal's board recommended that investors reject the offer, citing its "highly conditional" nature.

The decision to put off Friday's shareholder vote is the second such delay. Investors were set to vote on the Oak offer earlier this month when Pivotal's primary midmarket CRM rival, Onyx Software Corp., launched an unsolicited, all-stock takeover attempt. Pivotal's board also came down against that deal.

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