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February 19, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:06pm


By CBR Staff Writer

After over two years of unsuccessful negotiations, France’s Compagnie de l’Energie Atomique-Industrie, CEA-I, and Cap Gemini Sogeti SA may finally find a buyer for their jointly owned subsidiary Cisi, says a report in Les Echos. After the failed attempt by Sema Group Plc to buy the company last year, there are now five offers on the table – one total and the others partial, says the paper. The most recent offer from Compagnie des Signaux SA, for the totality of CEA-I’s holding, 64%, has upset the plan to sell off Cisi’s components that had been settled on by CEA-I financial advisor Societe Generale. The rest of the offers are for one of Cisi Holding’s three subsidiary companies – Athesa, Transtec and Cisi. It is undoubtedly Athesa, Cisi’s facilities management company, that is the most heavily courted. The paper says three of the offers, including those from Syseca SA and Steria SA, are for this company, which has approximately $67m in revenues. Assystem, a nuclear engineering consultancy and subsidiary of the Cogema Industrial Group, is also apparently interested, the paper said. Transtec, Cisi’s management systems group with revenues of approximately $31m, is said to be the object of two offers, from Marine Consulting and GFI Informatique SA, which is run by former Electronic Data Systems Corp France chief executive Jacques Tordjman. Cisi SA, the division specializing in scientific systems, apparently has no buyer for it alone. Les Echos says Matra SA looked at the properties on offer, but decided it has enough on its plate with the privatization of Thomson-CSF SA. The paper says that, as of the end of last week, the offer from Compagnie des Signaux was favored for at least three reasons. First, its price was higher than any of the offers for single Cisi subsidiaries. Second, Yazid Sabeg’s offer represents an immediate, definitive solution for CEA-I, which is anxious to rid itself of Cisi and its losses. One of the potential buyers says Cisi is losing between $5.5m and $7.5m per month. Finally, negotiations with minority shareholder Cap Gemini SA with 34% will be easier if Cisi is sold as a whole rather than in parts.

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