US technology services company, Wang, has finally bought Olsy, the services subsidiary of Olivetti.
In a deal worth around 700 billion lire (z236 million), Wang will take over Olsy to form a new company, Wang Global, while Olivetti will become Wang's largest shareholder with a 19% stake.
Last October, PC Week predicted a merger between the two companies. Roger Whitehead, managing director of Wang for UK and Ireland, confirmed that the companies had been in negotiation for more than a year. "With things like this, the more time you take over it the less painful it will be in the end," he explained.
However, a clash of culture between the US and Italian companies could create snags in the merger, according to Jean-Louis Previdi, programme director for Europe at the Meta Group.
"Wang has never made the jump into growing by acquisition before," he explained. "The challenge of growing with an Italian company is that nothing is written down, everything depends on personal relationships and things must be negotiated every day."
He continued: "However, for the end-users, it is a good move, because Olsy is known for its good technology. Geographically, the companies complement each other which will suit customers with worldwide projects."
Wang will now be able to offer support for vertical markets as well a horizontal desktop and server support, Whitehead claimed.
"Olsy already has some specialism in network and desktops, but also has a large presence in the financial, retail and public sector markets," he said.
Whitehead said he was unable to comment on possible redundancies because the management team is not in place, but he believes Wang Global will grow in the future.
"Both companies have a large user base and are in expanding markets," he said.
The combined turnover of Wang and Olsy should be around $3.6 billion (z2.18 million), making Wang Global one of the world's largest network and desktop services companies, with a presence in over 40 countries, Whitehead claimed.
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