Fujitsu?s $850 million bid to acquire Amdahl has run into controversy after shareholders sued over the ?grossly inadequate? offer, and insiders hinted at a wholesale refocus that could have a far-reaching impact on subsidiary ICL.
When the takeover bid was announced, Amdahl shareholders filed a suit calling the $850 million Fujitsu put forward to acquire the 48 per cent of Amdahl it does not already own ?unfair and grossly inadequate?. They said the offer failed to take into account Amdahl?s ?growth and anticipated operating results, net asset value and profitability?.
The suit argues that Fujitsu is not paying a takeover premium and is taking advantage of its position as Amdahl?s largest shareholder.
Fujitsu insisted the claims were ?without merit?. Sources claimed the offer price is fair because Amdahl?s shares had been as low as $10 during July.
But several analysts believe the offer is too low, and in particular ignores the growth potential of the software and services business, which accounts for 65 per cent of sales. The Amdahl buy would give Fujitsu a stronger services presence in the US, Amdahl?s strongest market, to balance the ICL portfolio in Europe.
Fujitsu?s bid for Amdahl has fuelled speculation about the future role of ICL?s services arm, Sorbus, should the takeover go ahead. Amdahl has spent the past few years reinventing itself as a corporate services company instead of a mainframe specialist, and this business could be amalgamated with Sorbus, at least in Europe, according to one insider.
?I?m sure the two would be amalgamated in Europe to give Fujitsu some serious clout in services. Sorbus could lose some of its autonomy,? he said.
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