Getronics says U.S. firm shows interest, shares spike

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch computer services firm Getronics NV GTN.AS said on Tuesday it has received a formal expression of interest from a U.S.-based firm to acquire all of the shares of the company.

Gertronics shares were trading 15.4 percent up at 6.50 euros in early trade.

“The board of management and the supervisory board have decided to explore this option and its strategic implications for the company going forward,” Getronics said in a statement.

It did not disclose the name of the U.S. company.

The list of U.S. companies potentially interested in Getronics could include EDS EDS.N, Hewlett-Packard HPQ.N, CSC, Perot Systems PER.N, IBM IBM.N and Dell DELL.O, analysts at Rabo Securities said in a client note.

“Until there is either the expectation that an agreement can be reached or the Boards have decided to terminate the process or legal or regulatory requirements arise requiring us to issue a press release, no further information will be disclosed,” Getronics said.

It said it will provide further information at the time of publication of its 2007 half-year results, which are due on August 29.

The Dutch IT company has repeatedly been the subject of takeover talk because it has interesting assets in the Netherlands, Britain, the United States and Belgium, but also has a number of underperforming activities, which puts its global aspirations under pressure.

Chief Executive Klaas Wagenaar told shareholders at a meeting in March that Getronics was looking to sell some units, may buy new businesses and was open to offers for the whole company.

The sale of units was seen by analysts as a preparation for a sale of the group.

Analysts also have said Dutch telecoms company KPN KPN.AS, which last year held takeover talks with Getronics that yielded no deal, would be interested in buying Getronics if the company had been slimmed down to just its Benelux operations, selling businesses in Britain, Spain and the United States.