VAR500 Acquisition: Unicom Buys GTSI
Unicom Systems has acquired GTSI (NASDAQ: GTSI), a VAR500 company that has hit challenging times. Unicom is a major IBM (NYSE: IBM) business partner. GTSI is a systems integration specialist that serves the government vertical, though the company has hit major turbulence in recent months amid alleged fraud.
Unicom is buying GTSI for $76.67 million, a 47.9 percent premium over GTSI’s closing stock price as of May 5, 2012. In a prepared statement, GTSI President and CEO Sterling Phillips said:
“The announcement of this offer represents an attractive opportunity to deliver premium value and liquidity to GTSI’s shareholders. I am excited about the potential for future growth with a strategic partner of UNICOM’s stature and global reach. There is an excellent opportunity to realize short- and long-term benefits for our customers, employees and OEM partners.”
UNICOM, founded in 1981, develops enterprise software focused on:
- IBM mainframe systems management
- AS/400 and iSeries information management
- Domino, Lotus Notes, Eclipse, Java IDE and Open Systems business information logistics products
- CICS.com, a corporate IT procurement solutions platform.
In stark contrast, GTSI is more of a cross-platform IT solutions provider, offering government customers solutions in such areas as virtualization, unified communications and data management. It sounds like GTSI may have been up for sale, advised by Raymond James & Associates Inc. GTI has experienced a range of business and financial challenges in recent months.
For the 12 months ended December 31, 2011, GTSI reported revenue of $356.7 million compared to $666.7 million for the same period in 2010, a decline of 46.5%, the company indicated. GTSI had been investigated for alleged fraud.
Investor concerns spilled over into a financial analyst call in November 2011, when at least one shareholder asked for the company to be dissolved and other investors demanded more information about the company’s direction.