Title: The acquisition by Steria of Bull's service companies: motivations, negotiations, integration and strategic implications (2000–2004)

Authors: Pier A. Abetti

Addresses: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, PITTS 2204, 110 8th Street, Troy, NY 12180–3590, USA

Abstract: The objective of this case study is to analyse in detail the acquisition by Steria, a French IT systems and services company, of the European service companies of its major competitor, Bull. This successful acquisition transformed Steria from a French company to European leader and doubled revenues from euro (€) 500 million to over €1 billion, while always maintaining profitability in spite of the collapse of the |internet bubble|. We present first the view from the field: the effect on the personnel of the acquired and acquiring companies. Then we present the view from the headquarters of both companies: the motivations of the CEOs, the often contentious negotiations, and the successful integration. We develop the strategic implications of the acquisition for the new |European| Steria and discuss possible alternatives for achieving the goal of doubling sales by 2006, as set by Steria|s CEO. We conclude with |lessons learned| that may be useful to companies considering major international acquisitions.

Keywords: Steria; Bull; negotiations; acquisitions and mergers; integration; IT systems; IT services; information technology; France.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSTM.2006.008184

International Journal of Services Technology and Management, 2006 Vol.7 No.1, pp.1 - 31

Available online: 22 Nov 2005 *

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