In a combination to strengthen even further the French domination of the European computer services market, the publicly-quoted Cap Gemini Sogeti is to acquire a 36% holding in state-owned CISI, which is at present 100%-owned by CEA-Industrie, the industrial holding arm of the French Atomic Energy Agency. Under the agreement between the two, Cap Gemini will acquire its holding by subscribing for new shares. The partners have identified three areas in which they want to collaborate: they will make joint bids for scientific, technical and industrial development projects and provide facilities management and conversion services; they will pursue joint research in the fields of artificial intelligence and software engineering; and they will also jointly expand abroad. Another key aim for the collaboration is to lift the dead hand of state control from CISI and enable it to become as profitable as the top companies in the sector. The move is also a first step towards a Paris Bourse flotation for CISI.
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