British-Dutch company buys IT service provider WM-data
New owner not planning personnel cuts
The British-Dutch data services company LogicaCMG announced on Monday that it was buying out the Swedish-owned WM-data. The new official name is a mouthful: "WM-data - a LogicaCMG company".
WM-data employs 2,400 people in Finland. The company is the second-largest provider of IT services, right after TietoEnator.
LogicaCMG offered EUR 1.3 billion for WM-data. The largest owners, Investor, and Thord Wilkne have accepted the offer.
LogicaCMG has a turnover that is about three times as high as that of WM-data. Last year, WM-data's turnover was EUR 997 million, of which Finland accounted for EUR 266 million. LogicaCMG had a turnover of EUR 2.7 billion; it employs about 30,000 people who work in 36 different countries.
WM-data CEO Seppo Matikainen says that hardly anything will change in the Finnish operations of the company.
"I feel relaxed and easy, because I can say that no personnel cuts are planned", Matikainen said. The WM-data management is also to continue under the new owners.
LogicaCMG has no operations in Finland, which means that there will be no duplication of work, causing pressure for cutbacks. In Sweden, Logica employs 60 people.
The main aim of Logica's move into Finland is growth. The company has been using corporate purchases to expand into new markets in recent years, and it expects growth in the Nordic market.
The deal will put Logica among the world's 20 largest data service companies in the world.
"The goal is to be one of the ten leading companies", Matikainen said.
WM-data has been very profitable in Finland recently.
Matikainen believes that the international scope of LogicaCMG will be useful for WM-data in programming, for instance.
"Logica has more than 2,000 employees in India, for instance. We are therefore able to use cheaper labour without the costs of setting up operations", Matikainen notes.
He says that the deal was nearly a year in the making.
"I can tell you that many others were also interested in us. We might also grow in Finland through small corporate purchases", he revealed.
Logica is paying 17 percent above Friday's closing price for each WM-data share. In the view of one analyst, who was interviewed by Reuters, the price paid by Logica was too high. "The synergy benefits are limited, because Logica is so small in the Nordic Countries."