IT services firm CRC Group Plc is pulling out of its planned reverse takeover of French rival A Novo SA, which claims to be Europe’s largest provider of after-sales support services.
In a statement, Thame, UK-based CRC said it would also be demanding back a 5.5m euro loan it gave to A Novo’s Italian subsidiary A Novo Italia SpA.
With CRC withdrawn from the exclusive merger discussions with A Novo, this loan is now repayable. CRC expects this loan to be repaid by 31 December 2002, the company said.
At the same time, CRC said it would be taking an exceptional charge of 950,000 pounds ($1.48m) for pulling out of the merger.
The two companies focus on providing support services for computer, printer, games consoles and mobile phone manufacturers including repair engineering, technical helpdesks, warranty management and exchange services.
One of CRC’s major contracts is with a PC systems manufacturer for which it processes all returns from field engineers in Europe, at a rate of some 5,000 units per month. Clients include Nokia, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard and Unisys.
A Novo, which is listed on the Paris stock exchange, is the larger of the two companies, with sales of 370m euros ($370m) in the year to September 30, 2001, and some 5,600 employees worldwide. CRC meanwhile, made revenue of 98m pounds ($148m) in full-year 2001 from more than 1,000 employees.