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Investors fail to share Sage enthusiasm.

Sage, the FTSE100 technology group, said yesterday it had agreed to take over Adonix for pounds 78.4m and expects to conclude the deal within a week.

Adonix, in France, sells advanced business-management software for medium-sized companies and specialises in software for real estate and manufacturing.

Sage has a strong track record in acquisitions of this size and, although there will be some overlap in Europe, Adonix has profitable divisions in the US and Argentina. Analysts welcomed the news but the shares lost 0.25p and closed at 227p.

In a busy day's trading for the region's shares, Biofuels Corporation was the strongest performer. The shares rose 13.3% to close the day at 157.5p.

Biofuels' share price has been volatile this year. The shares reached a high of 302p last March, from which they tumbled to 70.5p in June to recover to the current level.

Biofuels is based in Teesside and makes biodiesel from vegetable oils. Biodiesel is an environmentally friendly product capable of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, in line with the Kyoto agreement.

Zytronic, the region's Aim-listed manufacturer of optical filters, performed impressively, rising 16.5p to a four-year high of 316.5p at the close and Northumbrian Water, the utility group, also fared well. The shares added 8.5p and closed at 254p.

Fergus Westwood is an assistant director of the Wise Speke division of Brewin Dolphin Securities Ltd. Brewin Dolphin is broker to Zytronic and joint broker to Sage.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Nov 11, 2005
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