By Stuart Condie 
 

SYDNEY--Autodesk Inc. proposed acquiring Altium Ltd. in a deal that values the printed circuit board software firm's equity at about US$3.91 billion.

Nasdaq-listed Autodesk, which specializes in 3D design software, said its non-binding proposal was worth 38.50 Australian dollars (US$29.81) per share. ASX-listed Altium rejected the bid as significantly undervaluing its prospects, but welcomed the interest and said it would be prepared to engage over what it considered an appropriate valuation.

The proposal, which Autodesk said would be funded through a combination of cash and debt, represented a 41% premium to Altium's equity value based on Friday's closing price of A$27.21 a share.

Autodesk said combining with its fellow California-based tech firm would support its strategy of developing a unified design, engineering and manufacturing cloud platform. The non-binding proposal is subject to conditions including due diligence, it said.

The proposal followed talks about a strategic partnership between the two companies, Altium said.

In the past two months, some analysts have expressed optimism that Altium can benefit from rebounding global economic growth. Shares in Altium closed as high as A$42.63 in early February 2020 but lingering worries over the impact of Covid lockdowns on industry have prevented the stock from recouping all the losses sustained when the pandemic roiled global markets.

The stock hit a six-month high A$38.26 after the proposal was announced. It was still up 34% at A$36.44 almost halfway through the Australian session.

 

Write to Stuart Condie at stuart.condie@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 06, 2021 22:44 ET (02:44 GMT)

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