SAGE BUYS NORWEGIAN SOFTWARE FIRM: The Sage Group has a deal in place to acquire Norwegian software and accounting firm Visma for approximately $584 million.With 200,000 customers, Visma is the largest Scandinavian vendor of business management solutions for small and midsized businesses. Visma's revenues for 2005 were approximately $290 million, up almost $40 million from the 2004 figures. As of December 31, Visma had gross assets of approximately $345 million.

"The proposed acquisition of Visma is consistent with the Sage strategy of expanding geographically into new and attractive markets," said Sage chief executive Paul Walker, in a statement. "We see significant potential to build on Visma's leading position in the Scandinavian SME market."

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