Getronics to acquire Wang Global for $US2 billion

European computer services company Getronics is to purchase Wang Global for close to $US2 billion, in the process creating a $5 billion global networked services provider, the two companies announced yesterday.

Wang's board is recommending that company shareholders accept Getronics' offer to acquire all outstanding common Wang stock for $29.95 per share in cash, according to a statement issued by the US company. Getronics' offer represents a premium of 39 per cent over Wang's average share price over the past 30 days, Wang added.

The deal is subject to the approval of both Wang's shareholders and the Security and Exchange Commission.

As well as fielding revenues of around $5 billion, the combined company will employ 33,000 staff and operate in more than 44 countries, Wang said yesterday in a statement. The entity will be the largest provider of networked services and business solutions in Europe, and one of the fifth largest worldwide, Wang added.

Joe Tucci, Wang's chairman and chief executive officer, will join Getronics' management board. Tucci is credited with re-inventing Wang as a services provider away from its systems maker roots.

Wang also announced first quarter financial results yesterday for the period ended March 31, 1999. The company reported a net loss of $57.7 million, or a loss of $1.25 a share, on revenues of $789 million. Restructuring and integration costs during the quarter totalled $51.5 million.

In early March last year, Wang agreed to buy Olsy SpA, Olivetti SpA's services arm, for around $390 million in a move to expand the US company's reach in both Europe and Asia. Once the purchase closed, Wang, formerly known as Wang Laboratories, changed its name to Wang Global.

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