M&A market rebound?

There was a return to big-ticket acquisitions this month, as valuations fell to levels low enough to entice buyers back into the market.

In the IT services market, the sell-off of KPMG International – the European consulting businesses of accountancy firm KPMG – continued. Paris-listed Atos Origin snapped up the Dutch and UK arms of the consulting practice for EU657 million. The purchase will add annual revenues of around EU600 million, 2,800 employees and customers such as Microsoft and Vodafone.

Meanwhile, KPMG Consulting – the US-listed company which has so far been distinct from European operations – is paying $685 million (EU716.3m) minus net debt for the Swiss, German and Austrian consulting units and their 3,200 employees.

There was further consolidation in this market with GFI Informatique's acquisition of the computer services arm of French engineering and defence group Thales. GFI will pay EU340 million in cash and paper for a business which almost doubles its size with sales of EU485 million in 2001.

There was also renewed M&A activity in the microelectronics industry. German semiconductor maker Infineon bought three of the five microelectronics businesses operated by Swedish telecoms equipment manufacturer Ericsson. The deal, worth EU400 million in Infineon stock, covers Ericsson's mobile phone chip business.

French telecommunications equipment vendor Alcatel snapped up privately held Telera for its voice-web platform. Alcatel paid $136 million (EU146.0m) in stock for the technology, which uses VoiceXML (voice extensible mark-up language) to make web-based information accessible by telephone. Telera still boasts $30 million (EU31.0m) of the $100 million (EU103.1m) it raised in venture capital, which Alcatel says will be used to fund Telera's development.


Key majority takeovers in May/June 2002
Buyer   What it does   Country   Target   What it does   Country   Price EU  
Adecco HR svcs provider Switz WorkCard Vendor mgmt s/w UK n/a
Alcatel Telecoms equip France Telera Voice to web tech US 136.0m
ALTRAN Technologies IT svcs France Global N S/w consultancy svcs Portugal n/a
Ascent Technology Management buyout UK Ascent Technology CRM s/w &svcs UK 23.5m
Atos Origin IT svcs France KPN SoftwareHuis KPN’s s/w svcs arm Netherlands n/a
Atos Origin IT svcs France KPMG Int’l units Consultancy Neth/UK 657.0m
BuildOnLine S/w for construction ind UK MyBau Collab s/w for construct Germany n/a
Cedron Info mgmt s/w Neth Content Europe Content mgmt s/w Belgium n/a
COR Financial Sols Financial sys &s/w UK BITA Plus Consultants Risk mgmt s/w UK 3.6m
Exact Holding Mid-tier bus applns Neth Kewill ERP ERP s/w div of Kewill Sys US 20.5m
Finmatica Ebus s/w Italy Mercia Group Demand &SCM apps UK 20.1m
Getronics IT svcs Neth Siseg Doc &content publish s/w Luxembourg n/a
GFI Informatique IT svcs France Thales unit IT svcs arm of Thales France 340.0m
Groupe Alten IT svcs France Groupecyber IT consultancy svcs France n/a
Infineon Chip maker Germany Ericsson unit Microelectronics unit Sweden 400.0m
IntraWare CRM s/w Germany TPS Labs CRM s/w Germany n/a
iSoft Healthcare sys &s/w UK Northgate Info Sols Healthcare bus UK 51.6m
Juniper Networks Networking equip US Unisphere Networks Networking equip Ger/US 784.7m
KPMG Consulting IT svcs US KPMG Int’l Consultancy Ger, Sw, Au 716.3m
Micromuse Network mgmt s/w US RiverSoft Network mgmt s/w UK 67.1m
NDS Group Digital pay-TV tech UK Visionik Interactive TV apps Denmark n/a
Openwave Systems Mobile comms s/w US Ellipsus Systems Download mgmt tech Sweden 18.6m
RAM Mobile Data Management buyout Neth RAM Mobile Data Mobile data comms Neth n/a
Sagem Tech holding group France Ascom’s Monetel E-transactions tech Switzerland n/a
SEZ Chip making tech Austria L-Tech Microelectronics tech US n/a
The Innovation Gp S/w for insurance ind UK InterX (assets of) Content mgmt s/w UK 13.2m
TietoEnator IT svcs Finland Hewlett-Packard Compaq healthcare bus Finland n/a
Torex Supplier of healthcare IT UK GAP management Specialist s/w for hospitals Germany 15.0m
Transoft EAI UK blackboxIT S/w developer UK n/a
Via.net.works Internet s/w &svcs Switz KPNQwest (Swiss) Swiss bus of telecoms co Switzerland n/a
Wolters Kluwer Information svcs Neth Ciceron Workflow s/w France n/a
Wolters Kluwer Information svcs Neth Val Informatique Health sector s/w France n/a
All currencies converted to euros at current exchange rates. Data from Infoconomist’s daily Deal Watch. Compiled in association with Corum

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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