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Steria Rejects Atos Offer as It Says Bid From Rival Unsolicited

Groupe Steria SCA, one of France’s oldest computer-services providers, said yesterday a bid from local competitor Atos was unsolicited and that it hasn’t had, and doesn’t want, any discussions with its rival.

Steria’s statement came after Atos said it maintained an offer price of 22 euros ($30.39) per share for the company and that the bid will run until May 27. That would value Steria at about 730 million euros, based on shares outstanding, compared with a current market capitalization of 652 million euros, Bloomberg calculations show.

Velizy, France-based Steria agreed this month to be bought by information-technology services company Sopra Group SA for 730 million euros in stock as it seeks to win customers from larger rivals, including Atos. The acquisition by Sopra will create a group with a combined revenue of about 3.1 billion euros, with one Sopra share being offered for four Steria shares, according to a joint statement on April 8.

Steria said in yesterday’s e-mailed statement that the Atos offer was designed “to disturb” talks with Sopra.

Atos fell 2 percent to 60.5 euros in Paris trading on April 17, taking the loss this year to 8 percent, while Sopra shares rallied 3.2 percent to 78.4 euros and Steria surged 5.6 percent to 19.66 euros. Sopra has advanced 6.7 percent in 2014, compared with a gain of 38 percent for Steria.

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