UK SAP Consultancy Axon Recommends HCL's Offer

Axon Group, an SAP services provider in the UK, will support an acquisition bid it received last Friday from Indian outsourcer HCL Technologies, the company said Thursday.

Axon received an offer in August from another large Indian outsourcer, Infosys Technologies, but has now decided to withdraw its recommendation of Infosys' bid.

The bidding war for Axon is one of the few rare times Indian outsourcers have competed to acquire a company based outside of India.

The acquisition would give either Indian bidder access to the growing market for SAP services in the U.K., as well as larger revenue from Europe. Indian companies have been trying to reduce their dependence on the U.S., their largest market, by building up their business in Europe and Asia.

Infosys still has time to make a counter offer, according to people close to the situation. Infosys said Thursday it is still evaluating its options.

Axon's endorsement of HCL's bid marks the end of a 60-hour period after receiving the bid when the company could not change its position on Infosys' bid.

HCL made a cash offer last Friday that valued Axon at £441.1 million (US$817 million). In August, Infosys offered Axon a deal valued £407.1 million. HCL's offer would be 650 pence in cash for each Axon share, while Infosys offered 600 pence per share.

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