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Sage share price surges as group offloads US payrolls business

Shares in The Sage Group (LON:SGE) have jumped in London in today’s session as the company announced that it had inked a deal to offload its US payrolls business. The move comes after the blue-chip group put the business up for sale in November last year.

As of 14:49 GMT, Sage’s share price had added 1.42 percent to 600.40p, outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.44 percent higher at 6,885.41 points. The group’s shares have given up more than quarter of their value over the past year, as compared with a near 12-percent drop in the Footsie.

Sage offloads US payrolls business

The Sage Group announced in a statement today that it had entered into an agreement for the sale of its US-based payroll outsourcing business to iSolved HCM. The total sale consideration is approximately £78 million, of which £73 million is payable in cash on completion, while the remaining £5 million represent contingent consideration. The blue-chip group said that the move was part of its strategy to focus on subscription software solutions which are in or have a pathway to the Sage Business Cloud.

Analysts on UK software specialist

The 15 analysts offering 12-month price targets for The Sage Group for the Financial Times have a median target of 558.00p on the shares, with a high estimate of 870.00p and a low estimate of 465.00p. As of January 12, the consensus forecast amongst 19 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip group advises investors to hold their position in the company.

UBS lowered its stance on The Sage Group last week, arguing that strategic questions and competitive pressures remained. The FTSE 100 group is scheduled to update investors on its performance on Thursday.

As of 14:56 GMT, Tuesday, 15 January, The Sage Group plc share price is 600.40p.

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