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EDS offers stake to AT Kearney partners

Services boss made first move

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EDS may offer some or all of its loss-making consultancy arm, AT Kearney, back to the unit’s management.

Michael Jordan, EDS’ chairman and CEO, broached the option in a meeting with senior AT Kearney managers two weeks ago, it has emerged. Apparently, the services giant is “exploring ways to give AT Kearney [partners] a greater ownership stake” an EDS spokesman said. So far though, no firm proposals have been made and there is no set timeframe for any deal.

EDS took over AT Kearney in 1995. It is not clear whether EDS is considering reducing its stake in the firm because it wants to incentivise the AT Kearney management, or reduce its exposure to an operation which turned in an operating loss of $17m on revenue of $193m in the fourth quarter.

The spokesman also said it would be “purely speculative” to comment on the reasons for EDS wanting to hand over a chunk of AT Kearney.

EDS has been in turnaround mode for the last few years and has sold off a succession of units it did not see as essential to its core business.

Meanwhile, weekend reports claimed that EDS has secured a £4bn deal with the UK’s Ministry of Defense. EDS’ spokesman confirmed the company was in the running for the deal, but could not confirm whether or not it had clinched the contract.

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