Bob Scott reporting in his weekly Insights column.
Edgewater Technology, a Dynamics and Oracle partner, has reportedly rejected a bid from Ameri Holdings, which has begun a proxy solicitation of Edgewater’s shareholders. Through Princeton, N.J.-based Ameri100, bidders are offering $8.50 share, but say Edgewater has refused to engage in discussions. Edgewater stock has a 52-week trading range of $6.21 to $8.28 per share. Ameri100 then joined with Lone Star Value Management to oust the Edgewater board. During this week’s Edgewater earnings conference call, CEO Shirley Singleton said Edgewater has no comment and is reviewing the proposal. The investor group owns about 5.3 percent of Edgewater’s stock and is telling shareholders that Edgewater’s U.S.-only business model is outdated. Ameri100 has offices in Pune and Bangalore, India, and most of its management is of Indian origin. The proxy outlined its model of American employees working at client sites and India-based staff on project execution, which it said offers faster completion and better client service. Ameri100 also claims Edgewater’s board and exec are overpaid for poor performance and noted new severance agreements with change of control payments of $5 million for the management team—$1.8 million for Singleton. Loan Star was founded by Jeff Eberwein, described as an activist investor. Ameri Holdings formed in June through a reverse merger with a public shell company. Ameri100 is headed by CEO Giri Devanur. Eberwein said in an interview with The Deal that “We believe we can acquire companies in the space and improve their margins with our business model.” Ameri Holdings revenue was just under $4 million for the three months ended June 30, flat with a year ago.