Deutsche Telekom to Take Over Debis Systemhaus

PARIS (03/27/2000) - German telecommunications carrier Deutsche Telekom AG is to take a 50.1 percent stake and management control of German IT services company Debis Systemhaus GmbH, making it the second largest systems company in Europe, the company announced today.

DaimlerChrysler AG, the current owner of Debis Systemhaus, will retain the other 49.9 percent. The deal represents "a strategic partnership in the field of information technology" between the two companies, Deutsche Telekom said in a statement today.

Debis also owns a worldwide data network which will make a major contribution to accelerating and reducing the cost of the expansion of Deutsche Telekom's global networks, according to the statement. The German carrier has been left without a global strategy since the sale of its share of the Global One alliance to former partner France Télécom SA in January. [See "France Telecom Buys Global One from DT, Sprint," Jan. 26].

Deutsche Telekom has defined systems businesses as one of its four strategic growth areas, along with mobile communications, online and network access. It already has a systems division, DeTeSystem, but the deal will provide additional potential for growth and synergy, the statement said.

The deal is part of a wave of acquisitions and mergers that are expected in the IT services industry, according to Martin Canning, expertise center manager, European business infrastructure and technology services at market researcher International Data Corp. (IDC).

The transaction is subject to the approval of the cartel authorities and the DaimlerChrysler supervisory board.

(Additional reporting by Terho Uimonen in Barcelona.)Deutsche Telekom, in Bonn, can be contacted on +49-228-181-4949 or on the Web at http://www.telekom.de/. Debis Systemhaus, in Leinfelden-Echterdingen, Germany, can be contacted on +49-711-972-0 or on the Web at http://www.debis.de/systemhaus/. DaimlerChrystler, in Stuttgart, can be found on the Web at http://www.daimlerchrysler.com/.

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