Wednesday, September 10

HCL to counter Infosys' bid for UK's Axo

Mumbai: The Bangalore-based HCL Technologies is learnt to be offering 15 percent over and above Infosys' bid for the UK-based SAP consultant Axon.HCL Technologies will counter Infosys' offer of 600 pence per share announced late last month, people involved in the discussions said. According to them, an offer in the range of 690 pence per share would be made by HCL in the next fortnight, inside the deadline for making a counter-bid.
A spokesperson for HCL told The Economic Times, "We have a policy of not commenting on speculation and hence I will not be able to answer the questions."After HCL's offer, Infosys will get a second chance to scale up its own bid. In case Axon's shareholders opt for HCL, Infosys will stand to be paid one percent of the deal amount as inducement. After announcing its bid, Infosys had claimed that it had the backing of the Axon board, large shareholders and some key employees.However, it was not immediately known as to how HCL, which witnessed a decline in its net profits last quarter due to global slowdown, plans to raise over $850 million it plans to shell out for the acquisition. Sources said that HCL has appointed a couple of investment bankers and consultants based in India and the UK to look into such critical aspects. A source said: "The company has to make a counter bid to Axon within 21 days. The bid would be made soon and HCL would raise the bid by around 15 percent above Infosys' offer." After a bid is made by HCL, Axon's shareholders could vote in favor of either of the bids. Shareholders however have a prerogative to vote in favor of Infosys despite their bid being lower than HCL's, an analyst explained.

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