Computer Associates' battle to take over services giant Computer Sciences ended today, as bitterly as it began.
The software company said it would let its $9.18 billion hostile bid for CSC expire at midnight on 16 March, leaving almost not chance that it will be taken up by CSC shareholders.
In a letter, CA chief Charles Wang accused his CSC counterpart Van Honeycutt of preferring "to risk harming CSC's business and in the process diminish its value, than negotiate with Computer Associates, despite our repeated offers to engage in a negotiated transaction."
In a hastily summoned press call, CA said it had made the decision because it believed a long drawn out battle had become very likely, and this would be unhealthy for both firms and the industry as a whole.
Yesterday, Wang gave the first hint that CA might not push the takeover attempt much further, commenting that "I like to win, but I'm not going to kill myself to win" (see previous story).
Wang launched a bitter attack against the way CSC has reacted to the $9.18 billion bid, claiming it has "waged a campaign of unlawful roadblocks and baseless mud slinging lawsuits" rather than presenting the offer to shareholders or entering into talks.
The latest in a string of lawsuits between the warring parties came yesterday, when CSC accused its predator of trying to steal trade secrets to help its takeover offer, via investment bank Bear Stearns. The suit aimed to stop Bear Stearns helping CA with its bid.
But, while the final recriminations and legal mopping up goes on in the public glare, the next priority for CA will be to find another, more receptive partner for its mission to move heavily into services.
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