Morse has already started spending ahead of its planned flotation later this month after it acquired a 34 per cent share of French Sun Microsystems reseller Partner System for FF25 million.
The UK reseller also revealed last week that its shares will be priced at between 250p and 300p when it lists on the UK Stock Exchange. Based on a mid-range price of 275p, this will give Morse a market capitalisation of #336 million, in line with the prediction of #350 million revealed by PC Dealer at the time of the company's initial flotation announcement in February (PC Dealer, 24 February).
Approximately 89 million ordinary shares are to be sold, 24 million of which will be used to raise additional capital for Morse's expansion in Europe and to pay debts resulting from an MBO in September 1995. At the mid-range share price, Morse will garner about #54.9 million in capital.
The purchase of Partner System is Morse's first foray into the French market. It already has offices in Frankfurt, Germany and has the option to acquire Partner System's remaining share capital before 30 June 2000.
Partner System, which had a turnover of FF147 million in 1997 and employs about 80 staff, has similar vendor relationships to Morse, according to Mark Byatt, marketing director of Morse.
He said the two companies are still determining what the structure of their relationship will be, but added: 'Partner System will be an extension of Morse and help us to develop a competency in France.'
Byatt claimed the reseller had no immediate plans to make any further purchases in Europe.
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