* Autodesk offers A$38.50/share for Altium
* Altium says offer 'significantly undervalues' prospects
* Altium shares soar more than 40%
* Dassault Systemes & PCT potential contenders - Jefferies
(Adds background, analysts comments on potential bidders)
SYDNEY/BENGALURU, June 7 (Reuters) - Australian-listed
software maker Altium rejected a $3.9 billion takeover
bid from U.S. peer Autodesk Inc on Monday as too low,
but kept the door open for a higher offer as its shares leapt to
near six-month highs.
Autodesk, which makes architecture designing software
AutoCAD, offered Altium A$38.50 for each share, a 41% premium to
its last closing price, valuing the company at A$5.05 billion
Altium rejected the approach "at the current price" which
analysts said valued it at 17 times forecast 2022 sales or 44
times forecast earnings. It added that it would engage with
interested parties for an appropriate valuation and pursue a
"review of all potential strategic alternatives".
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.
"Autodesk may incrementally increase its offer to gain
further engagement from Altium's board," the analysts added.
A spokesperson for Autodesk said it was willing to engage
further with Altium, which services high-profile customers such
as Apple, Facebook, Tesla, BMW, Intel and Samsung. The company
wants to integrate Altium's electronics design software with its
engineering and manufacturing software platforms to provide its
users with a host of applications under one cloud network.
Jefferies analysts said they did not rule out a higher bid
price from Autodesk but added that there could be other
potential bidders such as France's Dassault Systemes
and NASDAQ-listed PCT Inc.
Dassault and PCT did not immediately respond to requests for
It was the second tech-sector takeover bid of the Australian
day, with customer relations and billing software provider
Hansen Technologies receiving a A$1.3 billion approach
from private equity firm BGH Capital on Monday that sent its
shares to a record high.
Altium shares, which had been hovering near its
post-pandemic low of $23.11 in May, soared as much as 40.6% on
Monday to mark their biggest intraday gain in more than a decade
following the takeover offer, closing at A$37.83.
"Many tech stocks have been hammered -50% from
their(overbought at the time) peaks back in early February,"
Bell Potter sell-side strategist Richard Coppleson said in a
note to clients.
"If corporates are seeing value then maybe the sector's
period of underperformance is now officially over."
($1 = 1.2923 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Paulina Duran in Sydney, and Sameer Manekar,
Nikhil Kurian Nainan, and Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru; Editing by
Ramakrishnan M., Sriraj Kalluvila and Pravin Char)