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Peregrine Gets a Loan and a Sale

Disgruntled Peregrine Systems (PRGN) shareholders finally received a minor dose of good news.

Shares of Peregrine rose 21 cents, or 20.6%, to $1.23 in recent trading Thursday after the software maker said it has received a $50 million loan and reached an agreement to sell its supply chain enablement business. Since the beginning of the year, Peregrine shares have shed 92% of their value following disclosures that the company will have restate $100 million in revenue and that it is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

San Diego-based Peregrine has said it had just less than $100 million in cash as of March 31, but it reported an operating cash burn rate of $103.6 million in the nine-month period ending Dec 31. However, the company intends to restate financials for that period.

Peregrine, whose software is used to manage IT resources and other assets, said it has signed an agreement to receive a loan for $50 million from Ableco Finance. The company will have to start to repay the principle in February 2003 in equal monthly payments of about $1.2 million, with the balance due Dec. 31, 2003. In a press release, the company did not disclose the interest rate on the loan and more information was not immediately available.

In addition, Peregrine entered an agreement with Golden Gate Capital to sell its supply-chain enablement business, which allows customers to create electronic marketplaces. The business includes certain assets and intellectual property rights obtained by Peregrine in its acquisitions of Harbinger in June 2000 for approximately $2.1 billion and Extricity in April 2001 for approximately $168 million. The sale is expected to close late this month, but that is subject to Golden Gate's due diligence. Peregrine did not disclose the terms of the agreement, including sale price, and more details were not immediately available.

"It's definitely positive," said CIBC World Markets analyst Brad Reback, who has a hold rating on Peregrine. But "the issue is we don't have any real details concerning the terms of the loans and the cash generated from the sale."

In the past Peregrine has said that Harbinger is contributing to Peregrine's negative cash flow, Reback said. But because of questions surrounding the financials under the previous management, Reback said he'd prefer to wait and see what the audited numbers reveal.

Reback also noted the agreement with Golden Gate is "not a done deal," given the due diligence clause. " I'm sure whoever is doing the due diligence is either comfortable with the numbers or making adjustments to pricing," he said. His firm has done banking with Peregrine.

Peregrine's CEO and CFO stepped down in May after auditor KPMG, hired to replace Arthur Andersen, discovered accounting irregularities that led the company to announce it would restate $100 million in revenue. Since then, Peregrine has changed auditors again and has said the SEC is investigating the company.

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