Johannesburg, South Africa (Sept. 24, 2003) -- Sage Group plc, the England-based parent of Best Software in the United States, has won the bidding war for Softline Ltd., the South African parent of the developers of North American business software applications BusinessVision, AccountMate and Datafaction.

Softline shareholders meeting in Johannesburg voted to accept Sage's offer of 2 Rand (28 cents U.S.) per share for a total value of 785 million Rand ($110 million U.S.). Sage's bid far exceeds separate bids from a group of Softline managers and from a group that included Exact Software, the Netherlands-based parent of Exact North America, the U.S. software company formerly known as Macola.

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