European offensive continues for Sigmas wireless unit - acquires Intelia SA of France with 145 employees
Sigma has acquired the consulting firm Intelia SA of Paris, France, whose operations are focused on wireless and mobile Internet. "The acquisition of Intelia is yet another important step in our strategy towards becoming a leading European player in the wireless field. Our acquisition of Britains Teleca Ltd. earlier this year, with 130 employees, is another example," says Dan Olofsson, president of Sigma AB.
Founded four years ago, Intelia has experienced rapid growth. The company has focused on developing software for wireless technologies. Its customers include Nortel, Lucent, Alcatel, France Telecom, Motorola, Thomson, Sagem, Northen Telecom and Mitsubishi. "Together with Sigmas various units and its significant technological expertise, we see major opportunities in being able to achieve a leading European position. The merger is of great value to both our customers and our employees. We appreciate Sigmas outstanding entrepreneurial spirit. At Intelia, we maintain a similar attitude and corporate culture," says Intelias president and majority owner, Geneviève Legarda. During its four-year development period, Intelia prioritized achievement of strong positions among the leading and most demanding customers, combining that with rapid growth. For the fiscal year May 1999 to April 2000, Intelia posted sales of SEK 70 M and reported profit before taxes of SEK 3 M. Intelia is expected to generate annual organic growth of 40-50% in future years, with successively higher margins. The cash acquisition includes supplementary purchase amounts, based on earnings, to be paid out over a three-year period. Including amortization for goodwill (20 years) of SEK 4.3 M annually, the acquisition is not expected to affect Sigmas earnings per share over the next 12 months. Thereafter, continued growth combined with margin increases are anticipated to positively contribute to Sigmas earnings per share. Excluding amortization for goodwill, Sigmas earnings per share over the next 12 months are anticipated to increase by approximately SEK 0.10. The acquisition means that Sigmas equity ratio as of June 30, 2000 is expected to change from 64% to 60%. Intelia is being consolidated in the Sigma Group as of September 2000. New goal for wireless - 1,000 consultants Sigma unveiled its strategic plans for wireless in December 1999. At that time, the Group had 75 consultants involved in wireless projects. The goal for this area of operation was to reach 300 consultants within two years. In conjunction with the acquisition of the British company, Teleca, in April of this year, that goal was raised to 600 wireless consultants within two years. Now, nine months later, Sigma has 390 full-time wireless consultants, of which 140 are based in Scandinavia and 250 outside of Scandinavia. Accordingly, growth has significantly exceeded expectations and Sigma has already become one of Europes leading wireless consulting firms. Wireless is part of Sigma´s telecom operations. "Now, were further increasing our goal to 1,000 wireless consultants prior to the end of 2001. The reason for this includes the potential that we see in technologies such as Bluetooth, GPRS and UMTS, as well as Sigmas capacity to grow, organically, through acquisitions and in the form of Sigmas Entrepreneur package. The latter involves starting up new companies around dynamic personalities. We did so, for example, in May of this year when Sigma started up a wireless company with offices in Spain and Portugal," says Dan Olofsson, president of Sigma. Sigma is a leading supplier of consulting services in the areas of e-solutions, embedded solutions and engineering solutions. The Group, which has some 3,000 employees in 11 countries, focuses on solutions for interaction, innovation and integration. Sigmas guiding principle is to strengthen its customers competitiveness and brands. (www.sigma.se) For further information, contact: • Geneviève Legarda, President, Intelia SA, +33 1 53 67 73 22, mobile +33 615 902 495. • Dan Olofsson, President, Sigma AB, +46 40 691 70 04, mobile +46 709 89 80 04. • Thomas Pantzar, Business Unit Manager, Embedded Solutions at Sigma, +46 31 779 45 50, mobile +46 709 89 84 40. • Nick Stammers, Managing Director, Teleca Ltd. and future Chairman of the Board of Intelia SA, +44 161 447 68 22, mobile +44 468 32 35 35.