Perth-based systems integrator Empired has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Capgemini for A$1.35 per share, coming to a total of A$233 million.
While headquartered in Western Australia, Empired has a substantial presence up and down the country's east coast and in New Zealand, where it claims offices in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin, thanks to local player Intergen, which it acquired in 2014.
If the deal goes ahead, the Empired acquisition would see the French global systems integrator further strengthen its presence in Australia and New Zealand, according to Kaylene O’Brien, managing director for Capgemini A/NZ.
The move comes after multiple acquisitions by the multinational in the region within the last 12 months.
"Following the successful acquisition of RXP Services and Acclimation, Capgemini is stepping up to a new scale in Australia and New Zealand as part of our growth ambition. Empired’s purpose to create the best possible future highlights a natural culture match, as we work together to build an inclusive and sustainable future,” she said.
Additionally, the acquisition would see Capgemini bolster its client portfolio across mining, utilities and government, while Empired would be able to leverage Capgemini's momentum in the Asia Pacific region, as well as its service offerings and global scale, to help its clients and provide career opportunities for its team.
According to a statement lodged by Empired with the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), the agreement equates a price of A$1.35 per share for 160,301,595 ordinary shares on issue plus 12,575,751 converted performance rights.
This, the Perth-based systems integrator said, equates to a normalised enterprise value to earnings before interest and taxes (EV/EBIT) ratio multiple of 16.7 times for the financial year ended 30 June 2021.
Empired’s directors recommended that shareholders vote in favour of the acquisition, with CEO Russell Baskerville flagging his intention to vote with all his shares, coming to about 5.8 per cent of all shares, to support the move.
“Over the past 15 years Empired has been on a journey to build the most respected digital services company across Australia and New Zealand,” he said.
“Our strategy has delivered material growth in shareholder value and we are confident that being part of Capgemini will help to accelerate our combined market position in the coming years.”
“If implemented, the scheme will provide outstanding career opportunities for our people and have a positive impact for existing and prospective clients by providing them with access to the significant resources, service capabilities and international experience of Capgemini.”
Olaf Pietschner, CEO for Capgemini Asia Pacific and member of the Group Executive Committee, added that the two companies will provide complementary services across Australia and New Zealand, strengthening both companies’ services.
"Capgemini's extensive transformation expertise combined with Empired's strengths as a leader in Microsoft Azure and Dynamics 365 will open up the full power of digital transformation for our clients in Australia and New Zealand, to run their entire business in the cloud and realise value faster. We look forward to welcoming Empired's talented professionals to Capgemini,” he said.
If accepted by shareholders, the acquisition is expected to be implemented by mid-November at the latest.