CA buys small US services firm

CA buys small US services firm

Computer Associates (CA) this week announced it is continuing its aggressive acquisition strategy in the services arena with the purchase of LDA Systems, an information management consulting company that specialises in client/server, mainframe, midrange and Internet technologies.

LDA, with 1997 revenues of $US25 million, has sustained an annual growth rate of 35 per cent over the last three years, according to CA. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

CA attempted earlier this year to purchase Computer Sciences Corp (CSC), but the bid to acquire the company was rejected by CSC's corporate leadership and degenerated into an acrimonious war of words. CA then let its offer expire in mid-March.

Since then, CA has pursued a strategy of growing its professional services staff through smaller acquisitions, in August announcing the purchase of ReaLogic, a consulting firm specialising in enterprise networking, application development and systems integration.

Now, CA's goal in the services area is "a billion dollars [in revenue] as soon as we can get there", said Chris Wagner, executive vice president of CA's Global Professional Services unit. If CA had been successful in buying CSC, the combined entity would have consisted of a $US11 billion company with 50,000 employees, "so we have very high sights in mind", Wagner said.

Both CA and LDA officials stressed LDA's experience in midrange, Lotus Notes, and mainframe systems, with CA's Wagner underscoring the fact that CA revenue in the mainframe arena has been strong during the last two quarters.

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