French Outsourcer Steria Buys Xansa

The purchase of the British IT services group by its rival will create one of the ten largest such businesses in Europe

UK IT services group Xansa has been bought by French rival Steria in a deal valuing the company at around £472m.

The 130-pence-per-share bid by Steria represents a more than 60 per cent premium on Xansa's average closing share price over the month prior to the offer. The two companies announced agreement on the deal today.

Steria said the acquisition of Xansa will deliver pre-tax savings of €24m in 2008, €49m in 2009 and €53m from 2010 onwards. The cost of achieving these savings is estimated to be €49m over two years.

Xansa has more than 8,000 employees - with 5,000 located in India - and reported operating profits of £25.2m on £380m revenues for its last full financial year ended 30 April 2007. With an estimated headcount of 20,000, the combined company will be one of the top 10 IT outsourcers in both Europe and the UK with revenue of around €1.8bn.

Steria said the acquisition will boost its business process outsourcing and offshore capability and strengthen its position in the UK market, particularly in the public sector and financial services.

Steria general manager and CEO Francois Enaud said in a statement: "Focused on the fastest growing market segments, the new group will be one of the most attractive in the ITS sector, both through the value of its service offerings (business transformation and business operation) and its exceptional industrial delivery model. I am sure that such an alliance represents an exciting opportunity for all of our employees."

Xansa chairman and acting CEO Bill Alexander added in a statement: "The combination of our two businesses will create a leading European IT Services provider able to offer our clients a broader range of market-leading services."

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