14 April 2004 IBM has agreed to buy the disaster recovery unit of Schlumberger, the world’s largest energy services company, for a sum believed to be in the region of $200 million.
The systems and services giant scooped SunGard and Hewlett-Packard to secure the deal.
“The combined solution will be profitable and well positioned for how the market grows over the next five years,” said Philippe Jarre, vice president of business continuity services for IBM in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
The deal marks one of the final divestitures of Schlumberger’s IT services assets, following its decision to reverse an ill-conceived expansion into the market. In the past year, it has sold Infodata, SchlumbergerSema and other IT units, and has also announced plans to spin off its successful smart-card division as well.
Schlumberger decided to re-focus back on energy within a year of its February 2001 €5.6 billion purchase of French services group Sema — an acquisition for which it vastly overpaid.
Schlumberger’s London-based business continuity services division includes 40 data centres in Europe and the US. Customers include the Bank of Scotland and investment bank JP Morgan. But IBM said it was not acquiring the Asia-Pacific operations, where there is an overlap with IBM’s services.
The deal is expected to be completed by the end of the month.
Ovum Holway analyst Richard Holway said: “Disaster recovery is a nice stable business with security being at the forefront of everyone’s minds. As an add-on to its outsourcing business, this is an eminently sensible move for IBM.”