CA bid weighs on Platinum growth plans

By the time you read this, CA's hostile $US9 billion bid for Computer Sciences Corp will finally be settled - one way or the other. However, the acquisition bid has put pressure on Platinum Technology, a rival company whose growth also is being fuelled by acquisitions.

If the Computer Associates (CA)-CSC merger goes through, the company will be able to add some 40,000 CSC services employees - dwarfing Platinum's goal of moving from its current 1500 service employees to 4000 by the end of the year.

Platinum also has high hopes for its new ProVision database and systems management product, released last month.

But this is one of the areas where a successful CA acquisition of CSC will put pressure on Platinum, since ProVision is a database and systems management product, competing with CA's Unicenter.

But the challenges CA faces in merging its corporate culture with CSC may benefit Platinum, one Platinum official said.

"CA is the type of company you either love or hate, and it has the reputation in the past of losing a lot of people when it acquires companies."

Back to big five

Ernst & Young and KPMG Peat Marwick have abandoned a plan to merge their organisations and become the biggest of the "big four" services companies.

The merger plan, which would have left the combined entity with revenues of $15.3 billion and 11,712 partners, was dropped due to client opposition, antitrust issues, cost problems and the perceived difficulty of merging the two diverse companies and cultures, according to reports.

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