RealTime IT News

Proxicom Entertains Higher Acquisition Bid

Let the bidding war begin.

Proxicom Inc., a Reston, VA.-based e-consulting firm who agreed to be acquired by Compaq Computer Corp. nearly two a weeks ago, said Monday it has received a higher bid-per-share from South Africa's Dimension Data Holdings plc.

On April 26, Compaq had offered Proxicom $5.75 per share in cash -- a deal that would have paid the troubled e-consultant roughly $266 million. Dimension Data has since told Proxicom it will offer $7.50 per share, also in cash.

Proxicom now has some serious deliberating to do. If Proxicom decides Dimension Data's offer is a better deal, Compaq would then have three business days to fire off a counteroffer. However, should Proxicom opt to take Dimension Data up on its offer, the Solicitation/Recommendation Statement on Schedule 14D-9 filed by Proxicom with the Securities and Exchange Commission states that Proxicom would owe Compaq a $10 million termination fee.

However, it should be noted that in the very same Schedule 14D-9 filed with the SEC, Proxicom's board said the company's shareholders should go with the Compaq offer.

Compaq Monday said it has been advised of the counteroffer; Proxicom's board has authorized its management team to investigate the proposal and will keep Compaq informed of the status of the competing proposal.

"The Proxicom board has not changed its recommendation to Proxicom shareholders," Compaq said in a statement. "The merger agreement between Compaq and Proxicom continues in effect."

Compaq spokesperson Arch Currid told InternetNews.com that the computer maker would not comment beyond the public statement.

Proxicom's stock surged $1.69, or 30 percent, to $7.35 in pre-open trading.