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January 6, 2005

PinkRoccade under pressure from Dutch government

The Dutch government has emerged as one of the major shareholders putting pressure on PinkRoccade NV to stop publicly favoring an acquisition by Getronics, while rival Ordina is performing its due diligence.

By CBR Staff Writer

According to a report by Dow Jones, which received a leaked email between PinkRoccade and the Dutch Ministry of Finance, PinkRoccade’s shareholders want it to cease to support any other bids until Ordina has completed its due diligence. It is reported to have said that PinkRoccade should not provide any kind of support to initiatives regarding possible bids and that the company will meet with Ordina on January 6, 2005 to discuss matters relating to the due diligence.

The Dutch government is said to be leading the charge to allow Ordina equal consideration to Getronics in the takeover battle for PinkRoccade. With 25% of the entire PinkRoccade share capital, and as one if its largest customers, the government holds considerable weight among the PinkRoccade executive board.

PinkRoccade has major Dutch public sector projects with the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports, the Ministry of Housing, Transport Inspectorate Netherlands, the Ministry of Education and its single largest contract with Gak, which forms part of the Dutch social security administration UWV. Through that deal, PinkRoccade signed a three-year extension to an existing agreement with Gak in December 2001, worth some E225 million ($301.5 million) under terms of which it is responsible for IT operations, maintenance, and release management of custom-built applications.

PinkRoccade was forced to allow Ordina to perform due diligence on the company on December 27, having bowed to what it called, heavy pressure from a group of major shareholders. This occurred after Ordina revealed it would increase its offer for the business to E370 million ($495.8 million) in cash, trumping an increased cash offer from Getronics of E350 million ($469 million), which matched Ordina’s previous bid. However, the decision to allow Ordina access to the books contravened a condition made by Getronics at the time it increased its offer that prohibited such a move. Getronics then suspended its offer on December 27.

Ordina said it aims to finance its latest bid with a bank loan of between E225 million ($301.5 million) and E250 million ($335 million), which it claims has been committed by ING Bank.

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