STOCKHOLM Aug 4 U.S. software firm Hyland raised its bid for peer Readsoft for a second time, valuing the Swedish firm at 1.69 billion crowns ($246.4 million) and heating up a bidding war with U.S. printer maker Lexmark.
The battle was sparked by a 42.05 crowns per share offer by Lexmark in May, which was topped by Hyland Software. Lexmark then raised its offer, which Hyland again topped, after which Lexmark on July 14 raised its offer to 50 crowns.
Readsoft's shares rose 9.7 percent after the news, to 56.75 crowns at 0736 GMT, signalling that the market expects the battle to continue.
Hyland's new offer of 55 crowns per share means a premium of 199 percent against the closing price of Readsoft's shares the day before Lexmark's first offer. It is 37 percent higher than Lexmark's first bid.
Ohio-based Hyland controls 10.9 percent of Readsoft. ($1 = 6.8592 Swedish Crowns) (Reporting by Anna Ringstrom, additional reporting by Sven Nordenstam, editing by Louise Heavens)