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March 1, 1994

INFORMATICA EL CORTE INGLES AND INVESTRONICA SEEN MOVING TO MERGER

By CBR Staff Writer

Informatica El Corte Ingles SA and In-vestronica SA, both Madrid-based and members of the El Corte Ingles Group, have signed an agreement whereby they are to pool the information technology and communications products they offer, aiming to achieve greater efficiency in sales co-ordination and to offer their customers a wider product range and more comprehensive services, systems and projects. This announcement has led to considerable speculation that the agreement could be the prelude to a possible merger to create the largest Spanish-owned company within the information technology sector. Such a step would appear to make good business sense, considering the considerable reduction which would be made in general costs. Sources within the group have denied that this agreement means a merger, maintaining that each company will continue to pursue its own activities, while there will be closer co-ordination between the two. According to the most recent figures available, at the end of the 1992 tax year in February 1993 El Corte Ingles held ninth position in the ranking order of information technology companies in Spain, with a turnover of $129.6m, while Investronica held 14th position with turnover of $95.8m. In a merger, adding these figures together would put the resultant company in third position behind IBM Corp and Hewlett-Packard Co, ahead of multinationals such as Digital Equipment Corp, Fujitsu and AT&T Global Information Solutions Inc, although realistically, since in such cases, one and one does not usually make two, fourth or fifth would be more likely.

Department store

Informatica El Corte Ingles was created in 1986, building on the internal computing department of the El Corte Ingles department store, and it now directs its global solutions towards public services, the banking and insurance sectors and industry. Investronica, founded in 1980, is the only company backed by Spanish capital to specialise in the manufacture of hardware and has been considered for many years as a leading computer-aided design, manufacturing and engineering company for the textile industry. It occupies a privileged position in the personal computer market, shoulder to shoulder with the likes of IBM Corp, Apple Computer Inc and Compaq Computer Corp and in the last year it has reaped considerable rewards with its document management system, Invesdoc, which has opened doors to it into the financial and public sectors.

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