Unisys shares up on Deutsche Telekom rumours

Unisys saw its share price surge almost 30 per cent yesterday, apparently on rumours that the company is in talks to merge with German carrier Deutsche Telekom AG.

Unisys shares on the New York Stock Exchange changed hands for as much as $US32.5 yesterday morning before settling down to end the day at $27.75, up $2.44 from Friday's close.

A Unisys spokesman declined to comment on any merger plans. He noted that the rumour, which was reported widely in the IT press, stemmed from a single article that appeared in German magazine Focus.

"We're dealing with a rumour here and we don't comment on rumours, so we'll neither confirm or deny the reports," said Unisys spokesman Jay Grossman in a phone interview.

Deutsche Telekom has identified systems businesses as one of its strategic growth areas. Just yesterday the carrier announced plans to acquire a 50.1 per cent stake in German IT services company Debis Systemhaus GmbH, a move the telco said will make it the second largest systems company in Europe. DaimlerChrysler AG, the current owner of Debis Systemhaus, will retain the other 49.9 per cent.

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