Getronics enters takeover talks

3rd July 2007, Comments 0 comments

3 July 2007, AMSTERDAM (AP) - Shares of Getronics NV jumped 16 percent Tuesday after the Dutch IT services business said it had entered talks with a U.S. company interested in taking it over.

3 July 2007

AMSTERDAM (AP) - Shares of Getronics NV jumped 16 percent Tuesday after the Dutch IT services business said it had entered talks with a U.S. company interested in taking it over.

Getronics did not release the suitor's name and said there was no guarantee the talks would lead to an actual bid, but shares in the financially troubled company leapt 16 percent to EUR 6.52 in Amsterdam.

Companies that provide technology consulting, including giants like IBM Corp., could potentially be interested in Getronics, which works with organisations on what information and communications technology could improve their operations and helps them install and manage it.

Getronics' customers are concentrated in the manufacturing and financial industries, and governments, with the U.S. military an important client.

The company's current market capitalisation is around EUR 800 million. It reported a net loss of EUR 145 million in 2006, compared to a EUR 4 million profit a year earlier, while sales rose 4 percent to EUR 2.63 billion.

A panel led by the company's Chairman Rinus Minderhoud will oversee the talks.

"Until there is either the expectation that an agreement can be reached or the boards have decided to terminate the process ... no further information will be disclosed," Getronics said.

"However, we will provide further information at the moment of publication of our 2007 half-year report" in August.

Getronics ran into trouble after it bought Wang Global in 1999, only to be slammed by the 2001 market downturn while debt levels were high. In 2005, it was struck again by losses and fraud at its Italian arm, and has since violated its banking covenants several times.

[Copyright AP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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