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Tradeshift is bidding for Finnish software maker Basware

[LONDON] Tradeshift Inc., a payment-technology startup, has made an offer to acquire Finnish firm Basware to better compete with software giants such as SAP SE and Oracle Corp., people familiar with the matter said.

San Francisco-based Tradeshift made the offer, backed by a group of US and Chinese investors, last month, the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private. Basware confirmed it was evaluating a "highly conditional" proposal on Friday without naming the bidder after Bloomberg News reported it was weighing a sale.

Representatives for Tradeshift and Espoo-based Basware declined to comment.

Tradeshift may offer a premium to Basware's average share price over the last 12 months, which is about 38 euros a share, the people said, declining to disclose the exact offer price. The average premium on software deals this year is about 34 per cent and was 23 per cent in 2017, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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Shares of Basware, which is backed by hedge fund Arrowgrass Capital Partners, have surged about 47 percent since Thursday, giving the company a market value of about 490 million euros (S$769 million). The company makes software that helps businesses manage expenses, run analytics on sales and expenses, issue invoices and procure supplies.

Tradeshift this year raised US$250 million from investors including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Public Sector Pension Investment Board, valuing the company at $1.1 billion. The company was founded by Danish entrepreneurs Christian Lanng, Mikkel Hippe Brun and Gert Sylvest, who had previously created e-invoicing technology EasyTrade.

Envisioned as an "open business platform," the firm's technology helps companies connect with suppliers and make and receive payments faster, according to Tradeshift's website. It also offers blockchain-based payments where businesses can use the technology to sell unpaid invoices to investors.

BLOOMBERG