BEST, EXACT BIDDING FOR SOFTLINE: Sage Group plc, the U.K.-based parent of Best Software, has joined a bidding war for Softline Ltd., the South African parent of the developers of North American business software applications BusinessVision, AccountMate and Datafaction.

Softline’s Web site reports that Sage sent a letter expressing its interest in acquiring Softline for 1.8 Rand per share, which compares to the 1.45 Rand per share proposed two weeks earlier by minority Softline shareholder Ivan Ferrer and Exact Software, the Dutch parent of Exact North America, the vendor formerly known as Macola. Softline is also the subject of a 1.30 Rand per share bid by some internal managers.

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