Getronics approached by US buyer

Dutch IT services firm Getronics, which counts the UK as one of its top markets, has received a takeover approach from an unnamed US firm.

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Dutch IT services firm Getronics, which counts the UK as one of its top markets, has received a takeover approach from an unnamed US firm.

The news follows a difficult period for the system integrator, which has sold off much of its central and eastern European business, suffered a financial scandal in Italy and entered into a loss of €54m last year on sales of €2.6bn.

Analysts have suggested that service giants HP, IBM, CSC and EDS may be in the frame to make the purchase. Dell, which has for some time been building up its IT services business but lacks the scale of a large system integrator, has been named as another potential candidate, as well as UK-based BT, CapGemini, and telecoms firm KPN which previously approached the company last year.

But Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported that the approach came from US integrator SystemsNet, citing unnamed sources. A Getronics spokesperson could not be reached for comment.

Getronics, which warned in May of profit losses, did not disclose which company had approached it, but said in a statement that the offer was for all its shares. The firm said it was currently reviewing the approach with the consultation of bank ABN Amro, and more details would be released in its half year report in September.

In spite of recent turbulence the firm continues to serve a number of high profile clients, concentrating on several key sectors. One is finance, where customers include Portman Building Society, Derbyshire Building Society, Barclays, ING, Abbey and Alliance & Leicester.

It also serves the UK government by automating and updating the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) best practice processes on behalf of procurement agency the Office of Government Commerce (OGC). Other major customers include oil business Shell, aviation firms Virgin Atlantic and British Airways, and telecoms firm Cable & Wireless.

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