TietoEnator slumps as bid talks end

TietoEnator slumps as bid talks end

Shares in Scandinavian IT services vendor TietoEnator slumped in morning trading after it said talks with potential suitors had ended without any firm offers.

TietoEnator's shares slipped 6.3%, or EUR0.88, to EUR13.03 in morning trading after the vendor released a statement saying it had ended discussions with "a number of strategic and financial parties" after they failed to result in "any firm and actionable offers".

TietoEnator has been talking to various parties since receiving an unsolicited EUR15 per share bid from private equity firm Nordic Capital in March. The offer period for Nordic Capital's bid - which the board urged shareholders to reject - lapsed on 26 May, after being put back three times.

But in the company statement, Anders Ullberg, chairman, TietoEnator, says: "Having evaluated these alternatives and the inherent nature of each potential offeror, and their value attributes, the board's unanimous view is that it has not received a firm and actionable offer that represents a fair value for shareholders and optionholders, and therefore all discussions between the company and potential offerors have come to an end."

Norwegian newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv reported today that TietoEnator's rival EDB Business Partner had decided not to make a bid after its partner, US private equity firm Blackstone, withdrew from the process. According to the report, without Blackstone EDB and fellow consortium member Telenor could not afford to beat Nordic Capital's earlier offer.

Ullberg says the vendor will now concentrate on the restructuring and cost cutting programme it embarked on in January, designed to generate annual savings of more than EUR100 million by the end of 2009.

The performance improvement programme, followed an 18-month run of volatile earnings at TietoEnator, which had mainly been been caused by project over-runs in the company's banking and insurance and healthcare and welfare units. The vendor is also eliminating 800 jobs, mainly in Finland and Sweden.

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