Mediasurface for sale?

  • 6-May-2008

I've been hearing various rumors recently about mid-market Web CMS vendors up for sale. If true, you could imagine all sort of marketplace shifts (both good and bad) causing ownership stakes to start moving. Certainly one toolset in play is Serena Collage. Almost all these vendors are privately traded, so such rumors are...just that.

But one WCM vendor, UK-based Mediasurface, trades publicly (on the "alternative investment market" of LSX), and quietly had to explain a recent stock bump. I say "quietly" because we only got wind via an investor-blogger, who first mentioned a company communication (pdf) -- a statement that remains more or less hidden in the investor-relations area of the Mediasurface website. In the short memo, Mediasurface "...notes the recent share price and announces that it has received a preliminary approach, which may or may not lead to an offer for the Company."

In recent years Mediasurface has grown -- a bit haphazardly we thought -- via acquisition, but evidently failed to control costs, and a surprise announcement (pdf) of losses late last year sent the stock tumbling from around 25p to languish at about 5p per share, at least until this latest courtship. You can track the stock price here.

If consummated, a match with "a UK company that does not compete directly with Mediasurface" might not be a bad thing for the vendor's customers. Like direct competitor Tridion (sold to SDL earlier this year), Mediasurface has global ambitions, and sometimes global reach, but struggled a bit beyond its regional base. As Web CMS Report 2008 readers know, Mediasurface's flagship Morello product suffers from a rather dated back-end, but the company has innovated enough on features to keep it interesting even for larger buyers. Things may start to get even more interesting soon.

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