EDS pounces on Swissair IT group

EDS, the US-based IT services group, is buying Atraxis, the IT subsidiary of the beleaguered Swissair Group, for an undisclosed...

EDS, the US-based IT services group, is buying Atraxis, the IT subsidiary of the beleaguered Swissair Group, for an undisclosed sum.

The agreement, which is subject to due diligence and receipt of necessary regulatory and third-party approvals, will see EDS provide airline reservations, airport management and air transport information services to 60 airlines and 40 airport authorities across the world.

Analysts believe the move provides EDS with a strong European base from which to win further business within the air transport industry.

Jamie Snowdon, research director with IDC, said: "This is a nice foot in the door for EDS. The fact that Atraxis will now [be under the management] of an independent company is a very good sales point for winning further business in the air travel industry. Being perceived as a subsidiary of a competitor would have made it hard for Atraxis to get a lot of outsourcing deals."

Commenting on the deal, Snowden said: "I would say that 40% or more of Atraxis' business came from Swissair. This is almost an outsourcing agreement between EDS and Swissair, and it changes the nature of the acquisition. This is a risk-free deal for EDS because of the revenues generated from Swissair."

Anthony Miller, an analyst with Ovum, agreed. "This is absolutely where the marketplace is going," he said. "It includes both the processing of contracts and the technology."

Tony Lock, a senior analyst with Bloor Research, said: "EDS have got themselves good technology at a relatively low cost. The current downturn in air travel is short term. It is a relatively secure market, but it is very competitive."

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