Capgemini won’t be pressured into increased Altran bid, CEO says

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PARIS (Information) – Software program firm Capgemini will follow its bid of 14 euros ($15.43) per share for smaller rival Altran, its chief govt informed Information, because it tries to fend off stress from activist hedge fund Elliott for the next supply.

Paul Hermelin, CEO of Capgemini, attends an interview with Information in Paris, France, November 22, 2019. Image taken on November 22, 2019. Information/Gonzalo Fuentes

Elliott, which made waves in France final 12 months when it revealed a stake in drinks maker Pernod Ricard, has since constructed a holding of greater than 10% in Altran, regulatory filings present.

It has additionally mentioned Capgemini’s three.6 billion-euro bid from June this 12 months undervalued Altran.

Capgemini CEO Paul Hermelin mentioned in an interview that he believed the IT companies and consultancy group would handle to get 50.1% of Altran shareholders behind the deal on the present supply value, which might not be altered.

“It won’t change,” he mentioned, including that Capgemini thought it was a good worth after having had entry to Altran’s books. “We noticed issues we preferred and others we preferred much less.”

Capgemini is hoping the deal will add to its companies in industries from telecoms to aerospace, and produce massive price financial savings. Its supply represented a 22% premium to Altran’s share value on the day it was introduced.

The corporate has outlined a self-imposed threshold to get backing from simply over half of Altran’s traders. Beneath this level, Capgemini will let the deal go and research different acquisition targets, Hermelin mentioned.

“At that stage we’d stroll away and do one thing else,” Hermelin mentioned. “I’ve plenty of different concepts. The digital business is stuffed with alternatives.”

Hermelin mentioned he was ready to satisfy Elliott representatives to debate the Altran deal, if they’d one thing new to debate.

Elliott declined to remark.

Capgemini’s Altran takeover additionally faces different hurdles, equivalent to authorized challenges filed in Paris by representatives of Altran’s minority shareholders, together with Elliott, taking subject with a number of the formalities across the deal.

A courtroom listening to is scheduled for Dec. four to look at one in all these claims, which might result in Capgemini’s supply being suspended, whereas a choose can even rule afterward whether or not there have been irregularities within the bidding process.

That call is anticipated by the top of March on the newest.

“We’ll see then what we do,” Hermelin mentioned.

Reporting by Gwenaelle Barzic and Mathieu Rosemain; writing by Sarah White; modifying by David Goodman and Jane Merriman