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April 10, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

The identity of a buyer, said to be continental, who engaged merchant bank S G Warburg to launch a dawn raid on the shares of CAP Group Plc on Friday remained a mystery as we closed for press. The bidder was offering 299 pence a share, a hefty premium of almost 50% on the 204p at which the shares opened, for an initial 14.9% with a view to going to 29.9%. Warburgs described the move as friendly – but CAP still did not know the identity of the bidder at close of play. Nor was it clear how many shares were tendered, but a shading of the price late on suggested that 14.9% was reached. After Dutch systems house Volmac NV, with a little under 10% of CAP, denied it was the bidder and said that it was not a seller either, all eyes turned to Paris and European market leader Cap Gemini Sogeti SA: Cap Gemini would not comment, but sources close to the company indicated that if it had wanted to get involved, it would have moved much sooner, and was anyway not interested in minority stakes in companies. A long shot is French flagship computer maker Bull SA, which might well be interested in close ties with a big systems house. A minority holder could not alone block the merger of CAP with Sema-Metra SA, and on completion, his stake in the equity of Semacap SA would be diluted by 55%.

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