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Onyx pulls Pivotal offer

Instead of trying to acquire its midmarket CRM rival, Onyx is now courting its customers.

The list of Pivotal Corp.'s suitors narrowed to two this morning as Onyx Software Corp. announced it was withdrawing its offer to acquire its midmarket CRM rival and would instead go after its customers with a migration program.

The Bellevue, Wash.-based Onyx told that it pulled its unsolicited takeover bid because of "the low probability of the offer being successful." Pivotal's board rejected Onyx's all-stock offer and has instead focused on two other proposals.

Pivotal is now waiting to see if its original suitor, private equity firm Oak Investment Partners, will up its offer. Pivotal's board originally agreed to be acquired by Oak and then merged with e-service software firm Talisma Inc., but it has twice postponed shareholder votes on the deal. The Pivotal board is now backing a separate proposal from CDC Software, a subsidiary of Chinadotcom.

Oak has until Thursday to sweeten its offer, which stands at $1.78 in cash for each Pivotal share.

Meantime, Onyx today turned its attention to Pivotal customers by launching a migration program. It would let companies swap their Pivotal software licenses for Onyx Enterprise CRM 4.5 at no extra cost if they agree to a switch in 60 days.

"Pivotal is going to face a heard road regardless of which path they go down," said Ben Kiker, Onyx's chief marketing officer.

Kiker said Onyx would also cover some professional services fees associated with switching.

"We will be aggressive and very flexible in working to come up with a cost-effective solution," he said.

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