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IBM has splashed out an unspecified amount to acquire Danish computer services firm, Maersk Data, a subsidiary of the A.P. Møller-Maersk Group. It is also buying DM Data, an outsourcing business jointly owned by A.P. Møller-Maersk and WM Data.

A.P. Møller-Maersk Group said that Maersk Data is its preferred IT supplier, but it is too small to meet the future needs of its parent. The group was reluctant to invest large amounts in growing the subsidiary, preferring to focus on its core businesses of freight and oil. By selling it to IBM, Maersk Data will get the investment it needs to keep pace with its old parent company, and will retain preferred supplier status.

Maersk Data Group employs nearly 3,000 people in Denmark to IBM's 3,700, and last year turned over €467m. The Register understands that there are no plans for large scale redundancies at this point, meaning that the deal will create a near 7,000 strong company - a giant by Danish standards. IBM is already the top computer services firm in Denmark, while Maersk Data comes in at No.5.

The sale, if given regulatory approval, will give IBM a 30 per cent market share of the Danish computer services market. It will improve the A.P. Møller-Maersk Group profits by around €335m a year. ®

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