Ex SunGard staffers enter bid to buy Rolfe & Nolan

The move by Novora could scupper a current management buy-out effort backed by HgCapital Funds, a European private equity finance company specialising in technology investments. When unveiled earlier this month, the HgCapital bid, supported by Rolfe & Nolan chief executive Bob Freeman, valued Rolfe & Nolan at £15.2 million. It had the support of 33.6% of Rolfe & Nolan’s shareholders at that time.

Novora is a privately held investment firm focused on acquiring and managing European technology businesses. Its chairman, Douglas Bergeron, is a former chief executive of SunGard Brokerage Systems Group, which has annual revenues exceeding $230 million. He is also president and chief executive of Geac Computer Corporation, a Canadian software company currently being acquired by Extensity, a provider of employee relationship management services based in the US. Navora's investment strategy is to acquire established businesses ranging from $3 million to $300 million in revenues and encourage their growth and development.

Battery Ventures, along with Blackstone Group, was a venture capital firm that backed a purchase of the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange prior to its purchase by Euronext for £555 million in October 2001. Battery has preliminarily agreed to co-sponsor Navora's bid.

When Rolfe & Nolan’s shares peaked at the height of the technology bubble, the company was worth £102 million. Boston-based back-office technology company onExchange made a bid to purchase the company for £12.5 million in July last year.

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