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CSC buys Dutch services firm

Computer Sciences continues to feed its acquisition appetite, buying SYS-AID, a small Dutch services and consulting firm, to help boost CSC's European business.

Computer Sciences continued to feed its acquisition appetite yesterday, buying a small Dutch services and consulting firm to help boost CSC's European business.

The company, called SYS-AID, is headquartered in Venlo, Netherlands, employs 260 employees, and has annual revenues of $22.5 million.

SYS-AID's expertise includes systems development and network management, software engineering, and outsourcing activities. The company's consultants specialize in logistics, finance, and I/T support, including installing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. The firm has long-standing partnerships with Baan, Progress Software, and Oracle.

CSC, the third-biggest U.S. provider of computer consulting and maintenance services, has made about a half-dozen European acquisitions over the past 18 months, including a 51 percent interest in KPMG Peat Marwick SA, a Paris-based management consulting and services firm with annual revenues of approximately $70 million.

CSC, overall, has been on a roll since fighting off an unwanted bid from Computer Associates in February. This month, the company landed a huge outsourcing contract to manage the Internal Revenue Service's computer modernization project. A decision on several other lucrative contracts with AT&T and the State of Connecticut, as well as a possible $500 million contract with Alcatel, the French telecommunications equipment maker, are expected soon.

In the past several weeks, Wall Street analysts have rallied around the El Segundo, California-based company, with several raising their stock ratings. Merrill Lynch named the company its top high-tech stock pick for 1999, noting that the firm expects CSC to have annual growth of 20 percent to 22 percent for its fiscal year that begins in April.

CSC had $17.1 billion in revenue for 1997, with international business contributing about a third to that amount.

The company's stock was trading today at 68-7/16 dollars a share, up 1/2.