System integrator Damovo is rumoured to have made an audacious bid for its recently launched competitor Omnetica.
Omnetica broke away from its Siemens parent in October to become a pan-European system integrator. It was formed by the joining of UK-based Siemens Network Systems, Arche in France and PRES in Italy.
But industry experts believe that venture capitalist Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), which bought the three European Siemens companies to form Omnetica, will not have the stomach to pump the needed investment into the company to make it a big player.
Instead, speculation is rising that, for the right price, KKR will sell the company.
"From what has been said in the channel, if Apax [Damovo's owner] has not already put a bid in for Omnetica it will in the near future," one source told vnunet.com.
A Damovo spokesman would not comment on the speculation but said the system integrator was always looking for good acquisitions.
Mark Darvill, director of business development at system integrator Logical UK, speculated that KKR had purchased the various Siemens arms specifically to put them together and rebrand the result for sale.
"It is possible that it was packaged for sale because Omnetica itself is not a big player and KKR would have to have deep pockets to build it up," he said.
Reacting to the speculation Peter Hall, Omnetica's chief executive officer, said: "Omnetica is not in discussions with Damovo."
However Manny Pinon, sales and marketing director at Norwood Adam, said such a move would be logical given Damovo's success in the rest of Europe and its need for a boost in the UK.
"This would not surprise me because in the UK Damovo has been struggling, and this would give it a customer base that it can use to bolster sales in the UK. With the financial backing from Apax it has the resources," he added.
Darvill agreed that Omnetica skills would help Damovo's ambitions to grow its Cisco business. "If Damovo is looking for strategic acquisitions Omnetica is an obvious one," he said.
KKR could not be contacted at the time of going to press.
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