French IT services group Sopra says to buy Steria

PARIS, April 8 Tue Apr 8, 2014 2:38am EDT

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PARIS, April 8 (Reuters) - French IT services group Sopra said on Tuesday it planned to take over rival Steria to create a company with more than 3.1 billion euros ($4.3 billion) in sales.

The friendly tie-up will see Steria shareholders receive one Sopra share for every four Steria shares held, the companies said in a statement.

With an exchange value of 22 euros per Steria share, the offer represents a 40 percent premium to the April 4 closing price, Steria said.

The tie-up will have a neutral effect on basic earnings per share in 2015 and strongly boost earnings from 2016, Steria said. The combined group aims for revenue above 4 billion euros and an operating margin that will gradually improve towards 10 percent. ($1 = 0.7277 Euros) (Reporting by Natalie Huet; Editing by James Regan)