January 13, 2011 / 3:41 PM / 7 years ago

Ultimate Software says no current plans for sale

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Ultimate Software Group Inc said it has no current plans to sell itself, following a Reuters report that the cloud-computing company had hired an investment bank to consider a sale.

The Weston, Florida-based software maker had started a sales process in December and hired Lazard as its banker, a source familiar with the situation said on Thursday.

Prospective buyers, however, need to get comfortable with the price at which the company is trading, the source said.

Ultimate Software Group, whose valuation is at sky-high levels as investors eye quickly growing cloud-computing companies, said in a statement on Thursday that it “has no present intention to engage in a sale of the company.”

Shares of the company were down 4 percent in afternoon trade at $51.16.

Ultimate Software has recently been trading at 107 times the average forecast for earnings per share in the coming year, versus an average of 18 times for software services companies tracked by Thomson Reuters.

Two people familiar with Ultimate’s activities previously told Reuters that a list of possible buyers could include Salesforce.com Inc, privately held Ceridian, Paychex Inc, Oracle Corp and SAP AG.

Reporting by Nadia Damouni and Paul Thomasch. Editing by Robert MacMillan and Gerald E. McCormick

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