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December 18, 2006

Telefonica said to be considering Getronics bid

Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica SA is mulling over a bid for troubled infrastructure services provider Getronics NV, according to a report in Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

By CBR Staff Writer

The report cited sources close to Telefonica and claimed that a source close to the Getronics board said that such a bid would be not unwelcome. Shares in Getronics leapt by over 6% as a result.

While Amsterdam, Netherlands-based Getronics may welcome acquisition interest after a traumatic 2006 which has seen its market value fall by over 50%, it is difficult to make a case for why Telefonica should buy it. More likely is that the telco is interested in Getronics’ Spanish business which one analyst estimates to generate annual revenues of $350m.

Earlier this month Getronics confirmed that it wanted to focus on its key markets in the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, and the US, and would look at its business outside this area replacing non-core operations with local partners.

While many telecoms companies are moving into the services area, France Telecom’s CEO Didier Lombard has reportedly ruled out bidding for major IT services players. Lombard said in an interview with Les Echos that it would not look to bid for generalist firms such as Capgemini or Atos Origin, but would look to acquire only those services firms with a direct link to telecoms.

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