DiData queers Compaq Proxicom pitch

Muscling in

Dimension Data has launched an audacious bid to steal US net services company Proxicom from Compaq.

The Anglo-South African networking reseller is offering $7.50 a share for Proxicom, outbidding an agreed offer made by Compaq last week by 30 per cent.

Dimension Data is the biggest networking equipment reseller in Europe. In recent months it has amassed, through a patchwork of small acquisitions, a US operations with a run-rate of $100m a year. The addition of Proxicom would propel it into the big time in the US.

Clearly, Compaq has the financial weight to outgun DiData, a FTSE-100 company. Question is: who wants Proxicom more - DiData for its geographic footprint, or Compaq to build up services with its core US corporate customers.

For now Proxicom is on Compaq's side - but Compaq will have to make a revised offer, paying at least $150m more for the company than it originally thought.