Wyly's bid for CA "opportunistic": Kumar

The timing of Texas billionaire Sam Wyly's bid to takeover Computer Associations International (CA) is "opportunistic" and "self-serving", according to the company s CEO Sanjay Kumar.

Kumar, speaking at the company's CA World 2001 conference in Orlando, US, said he did not understand Wyly's motives.

Charles Wang, CA chairman and founder, said the move was a "big waste of time".

A Wyly-led group of investors is proposing CA's current board of directors be replaced by its own set of nominees, due to his belief that the current team's performance has led to significant under-performance in the market and a negative affect on stockholder value.

Wyly proposes that the company should be broken into four independent groups that would focus on storage management, security management, systems management and knowledge management.

Kumar said this tactic is "illogical" and that not many unsuccessful businesses are around for 25 years.

Major CA shareholder Walter Haefner, who owns 21 per cent of company, has remained loyal to the current management team who, also hold another 10 per cent of shares.

"We will work for as many shares as possible," Kumar said.

"Wyly needs 51 per cent of voting shares to put his board in. If you look at the majority of his [proposed] board members, they have a relationship [with Wyly] and have no experience running an IT company." Kumar was quite critical of Wyly's own ability to chair a company stating that people need to look at his history and look at what he has achieved.

"Have you ever wondered why Sterling Software International was called that and not Sam Wyly software?" Wyly sold the company to CA in March 2000 for almost $4 billion.

The matter will be put to rest at the annual shareholder's meeting slated for 29 August 2001.

* Kelly Mills travelled to Orlando as a guest of Computer Associates International.

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