As reported by CRN, the Frankfurt-listed Check Point, Nokia and Blue Coat partner has received a €104m (£82m) approach led by Barclays Private Equity.
The €15.50 a share offer represents a 39 per cent premium on the distributor’s closing share price.
Frank Losem, chief financial officer at Computerlinks, told CRN the distributor had been in talks with “three to four” private equity firms before Barclays made its formal approach. “The stock exchange no longer reflects Computerlinks’ profitability adequately, so the offer from Barclays is attractive,” Losem said. “But we have to follow the legal steps.”
Barclays has stated its intention to support Computerlinks’ growth with strategic acquisitions, and Losem signalled the emphasis would be on geographic rather than product expansion.
“Close to 90 per cent of our product portfolio relates to e-security and we would like to stick with that strategy. We aim to expand in North America and Asia and the backing of a financially strong private equity firm would be highly advantageous,” he explained. Losem added that Computerlinks is still not present in Russia, Benelux and Spain.
Anthony O’Mara, EMEA vice president for sales at vendor Trend Micro, said: “Given the current climate, Computerlinks was not getting the valuation it deserved and that was hindering its expansion. Becoming more VC-based will give it the freedom it needs to do that.”
The takeover offer is subject to the condition of a minimum acceptance rate of 75 per cent of Computerlinks shares.
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