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Bull acquires critical Internet infrastructure outsourcing company Agarik

  • Bull further enhances its offerings and strengthens competitive position:
    • in Web hosting
    • in the critical Internet infrastructure outsourcing market
    • for Web operators
  • The Group consolidates its presence in the strategically important Telecoms sector.


Paris, September  28, 2006 -

Bull today announces that it has acquired Agarik, a French company specializing in critical Internet infrastructure outsourcing and managed on-line services. The move will strengthen Bull's position in the outsourcing market for IT platforms and critical data flows that require 24/7 continuous operation.

Established in 1997, Agarik employs over 30 people and recorded revenues in excess of €5.2 million in 2005. The company is extremely well respected in its market for its technical expertise and the quality of the services it provides, with the highest level of commitment to service quality in terms of hardware and Web application services in the industry. Agarik has developed a first-rate commercial portfolio spanning major customers in the telecoms, media, services and retail/distribution sectors, including SFR, Canal Plus and Dassault Systèmes.

In parallel, Agarik holds an operator license and as a result was able to optimize its own infrastructure and network - a Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) that links the main datacenters in the Paris region using 'black' fiber-optic cables - and to develop particularly innovative tools to ensure that it can deliver against extremely tough service level commitments. Agarik's 24x7 critical solution, built around Vision proactive supervision software, will be deployed across Bull's principal European datacenters, including the recently added site in the city of Barnsley in Northern England, which comes under the €100 million outsourcing contract concluded between Bull and Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council.

Finally, the strong relationships built on trust that Agarik has succeeded in developing with its customers have resulted in a customer satisfaction rating of over 94%.

With the acquisition of Agarik, Bull's outsourcing offerings will be complemented by the capacity to manage critical Internet infrastructures 24/7, including extremely powerful Internet capabilities and sought-after expertise. In addition, this will strengthen Bull's presence in the services market, particularly in the Telecoms sector, which is so strategically important for the Group's growth plans.

"This acquisition marks the start of a new phase in the development of Bull's outsourcing activities," confirmed Jérôme Belley, Director of the Outsourced Services business at Bull Services and Solutions. "It brings together the know-how and expertise within the Bull and Agarik teams, and will enable us to offer high added-value global solutions."

Agarik's workforce will join Bull Outsourced Services to form a business unit that will employ around 1,000 people in France.

"Bringing our two companies together highlights the extremely complementary nature of our expertise and gives Agarik new commercial impetus," added Laurent Seror, Operations Director at Agarik. "Being part of Bull will ensure that our business has the critical mass to respond to the needs of even very large-scale projects. We will also be able to call on Bull to support our growth in France and in countries with fast-growing telecoms industries such as Brazil and Poland."

About Agarik

Established in 1997, Agarik is an IT services company that specializes in hosting and outsourcing, with a reputation for its high levels of expertise and the quality of its services.

Its portfolio of solutions ranges from renting hosting space to complete outsourcing of on-line services.

Agarik provides customized solutions for its customers, in terms of infrastructure and network management, system supervision, third-party [application] maintenance, operational and security services. This high level of flexibility means Agarik can respond equally well to the needs of major French and European companies, SMEs and the public sector.

Agarik is the only French outsourcing company to offer direct systems administration services for systems it hosts on customer sites and, in parallel, to ensure that they are maintained in good operational order 24/7. This commitment is backed by the most rigorous service level agreements (SLAs) in the industry.

Finally, Agarik constantly offers its customers the most innovative new tools, thanks to the on-going work in its R&D department.

For more information, visit www.agarik.com 

About Bull, Architect of an Open World

As one of the leading European IT companies, Bull delivers open, flexible and secure information systems. The group helps public and private sector customers transform their information systems, applying its know-how and expertise in three main areas:

  • Capitalizing on its extensive mainframe experience, Bull designs and produces robust, innovative and open servers, based on industry-standard technologies;

  • Building on its alliances with leading ISVs, Bull develops and implements flexible and interoperable application infrastructures which give business processes the freedom to evolve;

  • Bringing together recognized expertise in end-to-end IT security, Bull secures data and exchanges that are so critical in preserving customers' business integrity.

Bull has a particularly strong presence in the public, healthcare, finance, telecommunications, manufacturing and defense sectors. Its distribution network and business partners cover more than 60 countries worldwide.

For more information visit: http://www.bull.com

Investor relations contact:

Peter Campbell - Tel: +33 (0)1 30 80 32 36 - peter.campbell@bull.net


Contact
Bull
Aurélie Negro
5 Bd Gallieni - 92445 Issy Les moulineaux Cedex - France
Phone: +33 1 58 04 05 02
E-mail: aurelie.negro@bull.net


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CONTACT

Aurélie Negro
+33 1 58 04 05 02
aurelie.negro@bull.net