Sopra-Steria Targets 4 Billion Euro Sales, Pasquier Says

Sopra Group SA founder Pierre Pasquier said the company resulting from the French computer-service provider’s merger with Groupe Steria SCA aims for sales of about 4 billion euros ($5.5 billion) in about three years.

The company may also make further acquisitions after building up its own sales, Pasquier, who is also Sopra’s chairman, said by phone. The two companies have announced a combination resulting in a group with revenue of 3.1 billion euros.

Information-technology service suppliers to corporate clients are looking to consolidate as growth slows and more services are offered via so-called cloud computing. Sales at International Business Machines Corp., the world’s largest supplier of computer services, fell 5 percent last year.

“Together, the two companies will have an excellent business model and a competitive offering,” Pasquier said.

Sopra shares fell 11 percent in Paris trading yesterday to 76.40 euros, their steepest decline since 2002. Steria shares climbed more than 15 percent to 18.15 euros.

“It’s not a surprise there was a negative reaction” from Sopra investors on the first day after the announcement, before the benefits of the deal become apparent, Pasquier said. He will become chairman of the new company, and Steria Chief Executive Officer Francois Enaud will be the enlarged entity’s CEO.

Sopra’s founders and some managers will hold about 22 percent of the shares of the new company, Sopra and Steria said on April 8.

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