Steria rejects Atos bid interest
"Friendly" combination with Sopra expected to go ahead
French services group Steria has reiterated its intention to proceed with a friendly tie-up with Sopra Group, despite Atos expressing its interest in a deal.
Steria and Sopra have been in discussions for several months over a link-up which its Supervisory board and the Board of Directors of its General Partner Soderi, has now approved.
Steria has said that Atos's bid to acquire Steria at a bid price of "around 22 Euros" is not welcome and has been rejected.
It said, "In response to the press release published today by Atos, Groupe Steria SCA would like to clarify that no discussions about a potential combination have been held with AtoS. To the contrary, following spontaneous approaches made by AtoS, Steria has clearly indicated that it does not want to enter into discussions with Atos and has indicated to its chairman that it does not want to receive any proposal.
"Despite this position, Atos' chairman has sent a letter on 4 April 2014 to the chairmen of the Supervisory board and the Strategic committee inviting Steria to enter into discussions about a potential offer around 22 euros per share. This approach was hence unsolicited and could only aim at disturbing the ongoing exclusive negotiations with Sopra Group. Steria renews its rejection of this unsolicited proposal."
The planned "friendly" combination of Sopra and Steria has the intention to create a European leader in digital services with a combined revenue of €3.1bn, operations in 24 countries, and 35,000 staff.
The tie-up is expected to generate annual operational cost savings of €62m with the intention to form a group that is capable of achieving revenues of over €4bn.
Late last year, Steria was selected by the Cabinet Office as its preferred bidder to be the private sector partner in the Independent Shared Service Centre 2 (ISSC2) joint venture. In February, Gloucestershire County Council announced that it had awarded a contract to Steria to replace its existing internal ICT services provider, Capita, from 1 April 2014.