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VOLMAC GOES PUBLIC THIS WEEK WITH AIM TO EXPAND OUTSIDE ITS NETHERLANDS BASE

Volmac Software Groep NV, the Utrecht, Netherlands-based computer services company that caused a stir in London a couple of years ago when it started building a stake in CAP Group Plc, is going for a listing on the Amsterdam stock exchange on May 16 with a placing of 50% of its equity, 3.9m shares, at the equivalent of $36.70 each, valuing the company at $286m; the quotation will be by means of an introduction, and no new money is being raised. After flotation Volmac Holdings BV – which increased its stake in CAP Group again when Cap Gemini Sogeti SA started buying, and now has soem 8%, – will retain a 35.3% stake in its originally wholly-owned subsidiary. The group’s employees will take a 14.2% share and 10 Dutch institutional investors will hold 50.5%. Volmac is a leading player in the software market – claims to be in the top 10 in Europe – and is the holding company for 16 operations including two based in Antwerp, Belgium, Data Process and Volmac Software & Training. Volmac’s strategy is to establish or acquire companies offering services and solutions in clearly defined niches. The company is not averse to setting up companies offering services thought to appeal to particular customers even if the result is an overlap with the activities of its other operations. Its activities now span the private sector – including banking, the retail trade – and public arena, encompassing training, consultancy and hardware delivery. Volmac is very much a Netherlands-based operation: about 95% of its turnover equivalent to $229.5m last year came from Dutch sales with the rest generated just across the boarder in Flemish Belgium. But the company is looking for joint ventures with European and US software houses – and has agreed a cross shareholding with Cap Gemini Sogeti SA – as a way of breaking out of its home base. It already has a deal with Tandem Computers Inc to develop software for the latter’s fault tolerant systems in their joint venture company, Twinac BV. Volmac’s main operations are: Automation Centre, a custom software developer for the private sector employing 1,000 of the group’s 2,500 staff; Volmac Top Training, the group’s main training centre for computing professionals; Interprogram, which the company acquired and has continued to run as a separate company in competition with its main software development arm; G&D software which special ises in supplying customised software to banks, and Volmac Network, doing data communications solutions.

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CBR Staff Writer

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