Gartner staying mum on Meta deal impact

Executives from both the Australian and the US operations of tech analysis provider Gartner are remaining tight-lipped about the Australian ramifications of Gartner's acquisition of rival Meta Group.The board and directors of Gartner recently approved the US$162 million agreement which allows Gartner to acquire Meta in an all-cash transaction valued at US$10.

Executives from both the Australian and the US operations of tech analysis provider Gartner are remaining tight-lipped about the Australian ramifications of Gartner's acquisition of rival Meta Group.

The board and directors of Gartner recently approved the US$162 million agreement which allows Gartner to acquire Meta in an all-cash transaction valued at US$10.00 per share.

However, Gartner executives say they cannot reveal anything more until the company's year-end earnings call in early February.

In 2003, Gartner generated US$858 million in revenue from 76 locations around the world, while Meta Group generated US$122 million in revenue from 52 locations.

The acquisition of Meta is expected to bring "valuable additional dimensions" to Gartner's research capabilities. Gartner said the addition of a sales team from Meta that is already conversant in Gartner's product and service offerings is also expected to enhance Gartner's ability to grow sales going forward.

Gene Hall, Gartner's chief executive officer, is expecting an "easy integration" of Meta's offerings into Gartner's existing service portfolio.

Gartner intends to finance the acquisition through the use of current cash, as well as borrowings under the company's existing line of credit.

Gartner said it does not expect the transaction to have a material impact on its 2005 operating results, excluding charges related to the integration of Meta, but expects it to be "meaningfully accretive" thereafter.

The company said it will provide additional information on the financial impact of the transaction, as well as 2005 guidance for Gartner on its 2004 year-end earnings call scheduled for February 3, 2005.

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