HCL set to buy Axon as Infosys shuns bidding war

HCL set to buy Axon as Infosys shuns bidding war
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First Published: Sat, Oct 11 2008. 12 25 AM IST

Firm approach: HCL Technologies Ltd CEO Vineet Nayar. Madhu Kapparath / Mint
Firm approach: HCL Technologies Ltd CEO Vineet Nayar. Madhu Kapparath / Mint
Updated: Sat, Oct 11 2008. 12 25 AM IST
Bangalore: The country’s fifth largest technology vendor, HCL Technologies Ltd, said it would go ahead with the acquisition of British consulting firm Axon Group Plc. for £441.1 million (Rs3,672 crore at today’s rate) after larger rival Infosys Technologies Ltd refused to join a bidding contest for the firm.
HCL would post a so-called document scheme of arrangement for the bid to shareholders of Axon on 24 October, and expects to complete the deal by the end of the year, the company said in a statement on Friday.
Firm approach: HCL Technologies Ltd CEO Vineet Nayar. Madhu Kapparath / Mint
The firm had on 26 September offered an 8.3% premium to the £407 million, or Rs3,415 crore, cash offer made by Infosys on 25 August. The UK’s takeover panel, the market regulator for mergers and acquisitions, has given consent to the bid, HCL said.
Infosys, the country’s second largest technology firm, said on Friday that it had no intention of topping HCL’s bid. “We believe what we offered was a fair value; we are not raising the price,” said S. Gopalakrishnan, chief executive of Infosys.
The company is confident that its decision will have no material impact on its strategic plans, an Infosys statement said. HCL said it believes that the price offered represents good value given the strong business case of combining the two organizations.
The British firm has endorsed the HCL bid. Axon and HCL have enjoyed a long-standing relationship, the British firm has said.
Indian IT service firms have been looking at acquisitions to add skills and expand share in markets such as Europe. HCL expects revenue from enterprise application services or deploying business software of firms such as SAP AG and Oracle Corp. to increase to 30%, once the Axon deal is over. It earned 11% of its revenue of Rs7,639.4 crore from such services for the year to June. HCL follows the July-June financial calendar.
HCL shares closed lower by 9.6% or Rs18.15 at Rs171 per share on Friday.
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First Published: Sat, Oct 11 2008. 12 25 AM IST