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By | Jan Libbenga 30th July 2007 11:00

Dutch telecoms firm to bid for Getronics

Relief in the air?

Dutch telecommunications company KPN says it intends to launch a €766m bid for struggling IT services company Getronics NV.

Last year, merger discussions between KPN and Getronics led nowhere. Instead, Getronics shedded businesses in Italy, Spain, Portugal, and China, and majority stakes in its French and Japanese operations. Takeover talks with an unknown US firm yielded no deal.

The KPN acquisition, to be pitched at €6.25 a share, "will reinforce the stated ICT strategy of KPN's business segment and further transform KPN from a communication service provider to an end-to-end provider of ICT services", the company said.

Getronics today reported sales of €1.28bn, and a €108m loss from continuing operations, citing cost pressures in the Dutch labour market, and the postponement of large deals in the US.

Getronics CEO Klaas Wagenaar will step down when the companies reach full agreement on the deal.

KPN today reported second quarter earnings of €401m, down from €431m. The company lost almost 300,000 subscribers of its fixed line business. However, the company's mobile telephony provider E-Plus, the third-largest in Germany, reported strong growth. ®

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