DiData snatches Proxicom from Compaq

Compaq won't fight

Compaq has decided to pass on Proxicom, the computer services firm that it was going to buy just a week ago. Q will avoid a bidding battle with Dimension Data, the Anglo-South African networking equipment reseller.

On Tuesday, DiData launched a counterbid for Proxicom, valuing the company at $376 million - 30 per cent higher than Compaq's previously agreed cash offer of $266 million.

Peter Blackmore, Compaq executive vice president for worldwide sales and services, said: "At this time, we don't feel current economics warrant increasing our bid for Proxicom."

Yesterday, Proxicom's board changed its allegiance from Compaq to recommend DiData's share offer. The company will now have to pay a termination fee of $10m to Compaq.

Dimension Data is the biggest networking equipment reseller in Europe and (of course South Africa). The company has assembled a $100m US operation, with six niche acquisitions over 18 months. Proxicom will propel it into the big league in America - remember this firm was going to increase Compaq's services headcount in North America by 20 per cent. ®