Elliott-Backed ASG Makes Unsolicited $380 Million Bid for Mitek

(Bloomberg) -- ASG Technologies Group Inc., a software maker backed by Elliott Management Corp., made an unsolicited bid to acquire Mitek Systems Inc. for about $380 million, and said it believes several of the company’s largest investors are supportive of a potential sale.

ASG offered $10 a share in cash for San Diego-based Mitek, according to a letter to the company’s board Wednesday. That’s a 51 percent premium over the company’s closing share price on Oct. 9. ASG said it has met with Mitek’s management and board over the past two months to discuss the plans for the company.

“While we appreciate the time that the management team and board have spent with us, we have been disappointed that the board has been unwilling to engage on our two prior non-binding written acquisition proposals to acquire the company,” Charles Sansbury, ASG’s chief executive officer, said in the letter.

Mitek’s shares, after rising as much as 18 percent, were up 16 percent to $9.28 at 1:16 p.m. in New York Wednesday.

A representative for Mitek didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Elliott owns Mitek stock and options and is one of its largest holders, Sansbury wrote. Elliott didn’t disclose the size of the stake.

Mobile Platforms

Mitek, which was founded in 1986, makes software that allows people to deposit checks and verify identification through mobile platforms, among other applications, according to its website.

Sansbury said the announcement that Mitek Chief Executive Officer Jim DeBello and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Davidson will leave the company later this year has rattled investors. He also said the company has been underperforming. Mitek’s shares fell 26 percent this year through Oct. 9, the day before ASG’s interest was first reported.

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