February 23, 2018 / 8:52 AM / a year ago

RPT-Temenos confident it can accelerate sales at Fidessa - CEO

(Repeats with no changes)

By John Revill

ZURICH, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Temenos’s planned 1.4 billion pound ($1.95 billion)takeover of financial software peer Fidessa Group will enable faster sales growth at the British company, Temenos Chief Executive David Arnott told Reuters on Thursday.

Analysts were sceptical about the proposed deal which Temenos announced on Wednesday, saying it would be difficult to generate cross-selling opportunities between the two companies which provide software for different areas of banking and financial services.

Temenos’s share price fell 4.3 percent on Thursday, while Fidessa’s rose to 38.30 pounds, above the cash offer price of 35.67 pounds per share. The offer is worth 36.467 pounds including dividends.

Arnott declined to comment on activist investor Elliott, which on Wednesday disclosed a near 5 percent shareholding in Fidessa that has since fallen to just over 4 percent.

“I am confident we can complete this deal, we have the recommendation of both boards,” Arnott said. “We believe there is a logic there for everyone.

“We cannot comment on Fidessa’s shareholders or anyone else who comes in with a different agenda. We have made a fair offer, and beyond that there is going to be a lot of noise which we are going to ignore while we get on with doing the deal.”

Fidessa, which makes software used by equities traders, has struggled with tepid sales growth, with revenue rising 3 percent last year when currency swings were removed, much slower than Temenos’s 28 percent rate.

“We have some ideas on quick wins on revenue synergies and overlapping geographies on top of the synergy numbers we have talked about,” Arnott said in an interview.

He said he had spent much of the past two days talking to Temenos shareholders about the industrial logic of the deal and was unconcerned about the short-term movement of the Temenos stock.

Arnott said the deal was not focused on cross-selling products to each other’s clients, but more on banks’ wanting to work with fewer vendors in future.

He did not say by how much or when Fidessa sales would rise.

“I do believe the Temenos sale model is very good at selling to new banks, and this can be rolled out, while Fidessa has been more focused recently on retaining existing customers.

“They have a huge sales organisation in the U.S. and Japan where we are not that present, while we are strong in Europe and the Middle East.”

$1 = 0.7164 pounds Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Michael Shields

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