Sonar6 sold for $US14m

HR software company sells to North America's Cornerstone Ondemand. 

Auckland HR software company Sonar6 has been sold to US company Cornerstone Ondemand for $US13 million plus $US1 million in shares.

Sonar6 chief executive Mike Carden told NBR the company and its 32 employees would remain in Auckland Mr Cardin said. The CEO would say on "indefinitely."

Sonar6 makes cloud (internet) based human resource software used by 375 companies, Mr Cardin said.

New Zealand customers included KiwiBank. Most clients were in North America, including internet radio company Pandora, and yoghurt chain Pinkberry.

Mr Carden would not comment on whether Sonar6 turned a profit, qualifying that it was in an "aggressive growth phase."

It had no debt, the CEO said.

Ahead of the deal, the largest share of Sonar6 was held by Fairfax director and TradeMe founder Sam Morgan, with a 19.43% stake, worth $US2.72 million if reports of the sale price are accurate.

The second largest parcel of shares - 17.14% (or around $US2.40 million worth) - was allocated to three people including Mr Carden.

Smaller shareholders include NBR Rich Lister John Holdsworth (majority owner of Datacom) and Barry Hastings, Mr Carden's former boss at HP New Zealand.

Nasdaq-listed Cornerstone [NAS:COSD] has a market value of just over $US1 billion.

The deal is expected to close within 45 days. Cornerstone said the acquisition will not have material impact on its 2012 earnings.

Asked about the deal's impact on his personal wealth, one-time scrabbling student Mr Carden said "I'm still working." 

Although, on this particular Friday afternoon, he was sailing.

The Sonar6 sale is the latest in a string of NZ high tech companies sold to offshore interests, including NextWindow, Right Hemisphere and The Hyperfactory.

In June last year, Sonar6 received a $250,000 government grant.

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