* ICT says investor has built up "reportable" stake
* Market talk that British company interested in ICT
* Company denies it is in takeover talks
* Shares up more than 15 pct at highest level since Nov 2008
(Adds details, company comment)
By Aaron Gray-Block
AMSTERDAM, Jan 4 ICT Automatisering (ICTA.AS)
said on Tuesday an investor had built up a stake in the Dutch
software developer after its shares surged to their highest in
more than two years on talk it was a takeover target.
ICT spokeswoman Arina Rengelink denied that ICT was in
takeover talks but said the firm had been contacted by an
investor who would shortly be reporting their stake to the Dutch
stock markets authority AFM.
"We are not busy with a takeover. We have not been
approached by any party," Rengelink said.
ICT, which has a stock market capitalisation of just 45
million euros at Monday's close, has gone through a turbulent
period with the unexpected departure of its chief executive and
the exodus of a fifth of its staff.
Shareholders in Dutch companies must report a holding once
it exceeds a 5 percent threshold and multiples of 5 percent
Rengelink declined to say how big the investor's stake was
or disclose the investor's identity, saying only there was high
Earlier in the day, there was market talk that ICT was a
"A U.K. company three times bigger than ICT is said to be
interested in taking over ICT," said trader Hedy Talens at
brokerage AEK in Amsterdam, declining to indicate which company
might be interested in the firm.
ICT shares rose more than 15 percent, reaching their highest
level since November 2008, and were up 8.8 percent at 5.615
euros at 1514 GMT in a slightly negative Amsterdam market.
An AFM spokeswoman did not say whether a filing has already
been made, but filings are eventually made public.
ICT develops software for products such as high-end medical
equipment, digital television, navigation systems, voice-over IP
and infrastructure applications.
Chief Executive Bram Schot resigned unexpectedly in October
due to a difference of opinion with the supervisory board over
company strategy and is yet to be replaced.
At the time, SNS Securities analyst Victor Bareno said the
management problems had led to greater uncertainty about the
company, which was hit in 2010 when about one fifth of its staff
suddenly quit due to a dispute with management.
ICT had net profit of 2.8 million euros ($3.75 million) in
the first half, including a one-off gain, after it merged
several units to improve its regional presence and marketing
(Editing by Sara Webb)