Francisco Partners in talks to buy Israel's Sapiens stake -paper

JERUSALEM Tue Aug 12, 2014 8:57am EDT

JERUSALEM Aug 12 (Reuters) - U.S. private equity fund Francisco Partners is in talks to buy a controlling stake in Israeli software firm Sapiens, a deal that would value the company at more than $450 million, Israeli media reported on Tuesday.

Financial news website TheMarker said that Formula Systems , an Israeli technology holding company, had offered to sell its 47.7 percent stake in Sapiens to Francisco Partners at $10 a share, a 30 percent premium over its closing price on Nasdaq on Monday.

Francisco Partners' London office was not immediately available to comment. Formula Systems declined to comment.

Sapiens, which develops software for the insurance industry, has a market value of $358.6 million. Its shares are down 0.8 percent this year after soaring nearly 93 percent in 2013.

Business newspaper Globes said Francisco Partners and Formula were in initial talks, with Formula having broken off negotiations on selling its Sapiens stake to the Alpha Group, another Israeli firm, in June.

Sapiens said on Tuesday it earned 7 cents a diluted share excluding one-time items in the second quarter, compared with 8 cents a share a year earlier. Revenue grew 16.9 percent to $38.6 million. (Reporting by Steven Scheer; editing by Luke Baker)