RealTime IT News

IBM: Something Gotten in Denmark

IBM has purchased a Danish IT services firm to boost its international presence and logistics industry expertise.

Terms of the deals for Maersk Data, a subsidiary of venerable shipping and energy conglomerate A.P. Moller, were not disclosed. But published reports and a Danish newspaper valued the deals at about (US) $830 million.

In a statement, A.P. Moller said Maersk Data decided to sell to IBM rather than make "considerable new investments and acquisitions," which would have been required to stay atop of changing technologies.

A.P. Moller and its subsidiaries will continue to receive outsourced services from the firm when the sale closes in three to five months.

"With IBM as the new owner, Maersk Data is able to continue its development and reach the global dimension that (we and other) customers require," A.P. Moller's statement said.

IBM spokespeople in Europe and New York were not immediately available to comment on the acquisition.

In a note to investors this morning, analysts at SG Cowen & Co. said that, based on the sparse details that were released, "it appears that IBM got a profitable business for a relatively low price." The purchase is not expected to dilute IBM's earnings, analysts said.

The move comes a week after Big Blue announced plans to add 8,800 new employees this year, many of them in its IT services and consulting businesses. Previously, IBM planned on 10,000 new hires for 2004.

It also follows disappointing news from IBM rival HP warned of lower third-quarter results, in part because of poor results from its European channels.