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Altium plunges after Autodesk ends takeover talks

Tech darling Altium has lost the $5 billion offer put on the table by US tech giant Autodesk, which has confirmed that takeover talks between the two parties ended last week.

Altium went into a trading halt Monday morning, after shares dropped more than 10 per cent on speculation that Autodesk was no longer interested in a deal.

“We are not commenting on matters with Altium but can confirm that acquisition discussions have ceased at this time,” a spokesman for Autodesk said.

Altium chief executive Aram Mirkazemi is backing his strategy for global dominance of the electronics design industry.

Altium chief executive Aram Mirkazemi is backing his strategy for global dominance of the electronics design industry. Credit:Ben Rushton

According to reports, Altium’s board had rejected an offer from Autodesk to lift its bid from $38.50 to around $40 if it was allowed to conduct due diligence. However, Altium told the market on Monday it has not received any further offer from Autodesk.

Last month Altium knocked back the original offer from US design technology heavyweight, but left the door open to a higher offer.

Altium is one of the five heavyweight technology stocks on the ASX that trade on incredibly high earnings and revenue multiples. The Autodesk offer for Altium is at 75 times the ASX-listed company’s 2022 earnings, according to analysts.

Analysts have flagged that Altium’s share price could fall significantly without the support of Autodesk’s $38.50 per share cash offer. The company’s shares dropped more than 11 per cent to a low of $31.47 after the stock recommenced trading on Monday. Altium shares traded as high as $41 in 2020 before a series of downgrades hit the stock.

RBC analyst Garry Sherriff said the company was likely to trade closer to $30 per share without the merger and acquisition support.

“The possibility of competing bids from firms including Cadence, Dassault and PTC may emerge, but in our view is likely to encounter similar issues to Autodesk’s Altium value expectations.”

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