Logica on the Skids as Panmure Kicks It for Being Too Clever

The Evening Standard (London, England), December 16, 2011 | Go to article overview

Logica on the Skids as Panmure Kicks It for Being Too Clever


Byline: Toby Green

TALK about kicking a company when it's down.

A torrid week for Logica got worse today after hopes that a bidder for the troubled IT services firm could be tempted out of the woodwork took a knock. It released its third profits warning of the year on Wednesday. Takeover talk around the group has been helped by its share price plummeting almost 60% in only 10 months, with France's CapGemini and India's Infosys some of those put forward as possible buyers. Yet Panmure Gordon's George O'Connor warned that any foreign aggressors may be put off because Logica's staff are too... well, knowledgeable.

Saying the company is too "pointy headed", O'Connor asked why potential bidders would want Logica's "expensive experts" when recent deals in the sector show "they want generic skills". O'Connor removed his Buy rating on the group as he called its restructuring plans "half-baked and half-hearted" and criticised management for not having "the gumption to drive through the changes necessary to create shareholder value".

In response, Logica -- which also had its price target cut by Barclays to 70p from 90p -- dropped a further 0.9p to 61.1p.

Overall, the Footsie advanced 40.46 points to 5441.31 points -- the first time it has managed to put two successive rises together for nearly a fortnight -- despite vague rumours doing the rounds claiming that Standard & Poor's could be about to downgrade Spain and Italy.

Nonetheless, there was still a general air of inactivity across the Square Mile with dealers preferring to speculate about reports of snow rather than stock movements. …

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