Computer Power gets permanent with Interim

Computer Power gets permanent with Interim

Another local services organisation has succumbed to the temptations of an overseas investor.

As reported in last week's issue (ARN, October 7, 1998, p6), US-based Interim Services has announced their intention to bid $205 million for the Computer Power Group (CPG), Australia's largest independent provider of IT education and resourcing services.

The acquisition is the culmination of an ongoing relationship between the two companies, Peter James, the chief executive of CPG, told ARN.

"We have known Interim since 1995 when we sold our US subsidiary to them and they used it for the basis of their technology group," James said. "Since then, we've had some joint software developments going and contact has been maintained."

James claims he evaluated several options for CPG's future before deciding a global alliance was best for the company.

"It is very difficult for Australian organisations unless they get very big or very small, niche and focused," James argues. "To be a force, it's not appropriate to be regional - you need to be global." James said Interim was not the only services organisation to show an interest in CPG, but its bid proved most suitable.

"We considered a range of offerings in terms of strategic directions and are of the view that Interim offers the best value for our shareholders, a good strategy and the right culture for our people," James said. "Interim also plans to give us the opportunity to roll out some of our education programs worldwide."

For Interim, a $US1.5 billion pro-vider of staffing, human resource consulting and employment services, the acquisition will "give them a foothold in the local market", according to James.

Interim already has operations in the US, UK, South Africa and parts of Asia and Europe.

The acquisition will see Interim make a takeover bid for all of the shares in CPG at a cash price of $A5.75 per share, which values the company at approximately $205 million.

Subject to a final review of the offer by CPG's board of directors, "and in the absence of a higher offer", the acquisition should be completed by the end of the month, according to James.

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