Baan declines comment on buy-out rumours
BARNEVELD, Netherlands, May 25 (Reuters) - Loss-making Dutch business software firm Baan Company on Thursday declined to say with whom it was talking about its strategic options, although it did say nothing had been settled.
"There's no concrete news and we can't comment on names at the moment. Lazard Freres is busy with Baan looking at strategic options and that includes companies," a Baan spokesman said. Baan said in March it was considering a number of possibilities to strengthen its balance sheet and secure its future and was likely to spin off its customer relationship management (CRM) software for the e-business market. It was due to make a decision on the e-CRM activities in July.
On Thursday, rumours abounded that U.S. software and database firm Oracle Corp. was in talks to purchase Baan as a whole or to buy its CRM unit.
Baan shares consequently rose to a high of 2.99 euros, a gain of 86 percent, as speculative buying and short-covering combined. At 1305 GMT, they were up 54 percent at 2.48 euros.
Baan, which once rivalled Europe's leading maker of business-management software SAP , reported its seventh consecutive quarter of losses in April and its financial troubles have been building steadily since.
Baan shares hit an all-time low on Tuesday of 1.16 euros.