Polish software maker Asseco Poland said it intends to shelve plans to list on the Nasdaq stock exchange until next year, and has instead set its sights on taking over an entity in Russia.
The Polish firm will complete the acquisition of a majority stake in an unnamed Russian company by October, Asseco’s founder and chief executive, Adam Góral, told a press conference in late August. He did not disclose the potential value of the deal, but said it should not require all of the company’s free cash reserves.
Asseco, Europe’s seventh-largest software vendor by 2010 sales, had hoped to raise between $200 million and $300 million from its Nasdaq debut, but financial-market volatility and the complexities of a foreign listing have forced it to look for other expansion options.
“Works are ongoing, we need at least a year more. It has to be prepared carefully,” Mr Góral said.
Polish firms are almost non-existent in Russia’s E14.3 billion IT market but there is significant room for expansion there, since the market has an annual growth rate of roughly 18 percent.
“We have signed a letter of intent [with the Russian firm] after months of negotiations,” Mr Góral said.
“We target a majority stake in one of Russia’s biggest players on the finance and banking IT market, operating also around the former Soviet Union,” he added.
Also in late August the Asseco Group (of which Asseco Poland is a part) reported a better-than-expected 11 percent annualized increase in second-half net profit, posting a bottom line of zł.204 million. Sales revenues over the period reached zł.2.68 billion, growing 14 percent year-on-year thanks to takeovers in Israel and the US, and a weaker złoty.
From Warsaw Business Journal by Gareth Price
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