Schlumberger is to acquire systems house Sema for £3.6 billion in cash. The deal values Sema's shares at £5.60, a 42 per cent premium to its Friday closing price of £3.95, but possibly not enough to ward off other potential bidders, including EDS, Logica, and Cap Gemini, say analysts.
Schlumberger is building up its technology portfolio in a bid to protect itself from cyclical swings in its core energy business.
Schlumberger says the acquisition of Sema will provide it with the critical mass and scale to offer end-to-end systems integration and information solutions to global companys. The diversified group also recently acquired the Bull CP8 smart card unit.