A little interesting potential acquisition news this morning. It looks like SDL might be wanting to get its hands on web engagement management provider Alterian.

Editor's Note: Alterian released a comment on the potential acquisition offer. Read on to get their perspective.

SDL Hinted Acquisition, Alterian Said No

So here's how the story goes. SDL sent a letter of interest to Alterian on Friday, October 21st indicating a non-binding offer to acquire all shares of Alterian in cash for 80 pence per share. According to SDL, this offer consitutes a premium of 40.5% over Thursday's closing share price of 57 pence.

Alterian's board of directors said "thanks, but no thanks".

But SDL isn't backing down -- yet. According to the company:

the international capabilities, existing customer relationships, track record of acquiring and growing software businesses, together with the breadth and scale of SDL’s business, provide a strong platform to maximize the potential of Alterian’s business"

So with an interest expressed, SDL has until 5pm November 21st to either make an official offer to acquire Alterian or announce that it has changed its mind.

What Alterian Would Add to the SDL Mix

Alterian has some nice capabilities to add to the SDL "customer experience" mix. Its mobile capabilities, which include support for HTML5 would likely complement SDL's mobile capabilities. But it's the social media monitoring via SM2 and the campaign management tools via Alterian Engagement Management & Analytics that could add significant value to SDL's platform.

Of course, it could also mean the end of Alterian as it exists today.

Time will tell what SDL's next move will be. We'll keep an eye out.

What Alterian is Saying About the Offer

Alterian has said they are absolutely not interested in this potential takeover attempt by SDL:

The Board believes that the Possible Offer at the Indicative Offer Price significantly undervalues Alterian, based both on the Company’s current position and its future prospects, and has rejected unequivocally the Possible Offer. Accordingly, the Board recommends that Alterian shareholders take no action in relation to their Alterian Shares."

Alterian says it is in the middle of executing a business transformation plan -- expected to be completed by the end of this year. The Board is asking shareholders to be patient, because this effort will provide a new focus for Alterian, including a cost savings plan. They firmly state that the review does not including investigating the possible sale of the company. Full details are expected around November 21st.