The battle for control of integration and development company Techway has become a three-way tussle, with US-based point-of-sale solution developer Hypercom joining the fray.
At time of press Hypercom is purchasing Techway shares on the open market at prices as high as 55 cents per share - higher than the value of the share-swap offer of takeover rival Intellect Holdings.
Industry sources say Hypercom holds around 12 per cent of Techway, and is currently deciding whether to make a formal bid for the company. Although it is currently paying cash for shares on the open market, Foreign Investment Review Board regulations will not allow that to rise above 15 per cent without authorisation.
Should that holding rise to 19.99 per cent Hypercom will be required to launch a formal takeover bid. Industry sources believe Hypercom is serious in its bid to take over the company, and will continue to pursue this course, but Hypercom's US office offered no comment when contacted.
This latest offer has left original bidder Nova Pacific Capital languishing, with its cash offer of 38 cents per share generating little interest from shareholders. Nova Pacific managing director Paul Davis said he is still awaiting full details of all bids before determining a course of action.
He said he is still keen to take control of Techway, but added: "It appears our current bid is not going to achieve that, so our options are to hang on and participate with Hypercom in some way; to accept Intellect's offer, but we have no data to asses that offer; or raise our own offer."
To add further confusion, Intellect's bid is dependent on it securing 70 per cent of Techway. However, Nova Pacific's and Hypercom's holdings already exceed this threshold.
The main area of interest within Techway is its WEB Australia Internet services and development division, responsible for the recently announced online banking solution at the Commonwealth Bank. Intellect's executive chairman Ross Leighton has named WEB Australia as his company's primary interest, and industry sources believe it is also the focus of attention for Hypercom.
Hypercom, which was founded in Australia in 1978 before relocating to Phoenix, Arizona in 1990, develops POS terminals and other solutions for companies, including American Express.