November 1, 2018 / 10:54 PM / 9 months ago

UPDATE 1-Australia's MYOB gets sweetened takeover bid from KKR

(Adds background on KKR bid)

Nov 2 (Reuters) - Australian accounting software provider MYOB Group on Friday said the U.S. private equity firm KKR & Co has sweetened its earlier takeover offer by about 2 percent to A$3.77 a share, valuing the company at A$2.23 billion ($1.61 billion).

KKR last month had launched a A$1.75 billion, or A$3.70 per share, offer after buying almost a fifth of MYOB, as the U.S. firm attempts to grow its portfolio of tech businesses.

MYOB said it has granted KKR access to its books and added that an independent panel would continue to evaluate and assess the KKR proposal.

The MYOB bid, if successful, would become one of KKR's biggest acquisitions in Australia and add to its 10-strong stable of technology-driven businesses in the Asia-Pacific region. KKR last year raised $9.3 billion - a regional record - in its third Asia-focused buyout fund.

Once the dominant provider of accounting software to small and medium-sized businesses in Australia, MYOB has in recent years struggled to compete for market share with cloud-based administrative software company Xero Ltd.

The KKR proposal came after it acquired U.S. business software company BMC Software in May in its largest deal since the 2008-09 financial crisis. ($1 = 1.3889 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru Editing by James Dalgleish)

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