January 27, 2020 / 10:35 AM / a month ago

Capgemini passes first hurdle in Altran bid despite Elliott resistance

The logo of Capgemini is pictured during the Viva Tech start-up and technology summit in Paris, France, May 25, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - French consulting and IT services provider Capgemini (CAPP.PA) succeeded in securing more than half of the capital of smaller rival Altran Technologies, the French market regulator AMF said on Monday, marking a win against U.S. activist fund Elliott.

The AMF said Capgemini holds 53.6% of Altran’s share capital and at least 53.4% of the voting rights. The group - which faced a tussle with Altran shareholder Elliott over its offer price - had aimed to get the backing from just over half of Altran’s investors to pursue its bid.

Capgemini was advised by Lazard, while Altran worked with Perella Weinberg Partners and Citigroup.

Earlier in January Capgemini had slightly raised the price of its friendly bid for Altran to 14.5 euros a share from 14 euros, valuing the company at 3.7 billion euros ($4.1 billion).

That move failed to convince Elliott, which has built up a stake of over 15% in Altran, to tender its shares to the group’s offer, which closed on Jan. 22.

The AMF said Capgemini’s offer would be reopened to other investors, though it did not give a fresh timeframe.

Capgemini is hoping the deal will add to its services in industries from telecoms to aerospace and help it slash costs.

Altran shares climbed 2% on Monday to 14.75 euros hitting a 4-month peak, a rare bright spot in a European stockmarket spooked by coronavirus fears.

Additional reporting by Pamela Barbaglia; Editing by David Holmes and David Evans

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