UPDATE 3-Convergys snaps up Intervoice for $335 mln

miércoles 16 de julio de 2008 19:37 CEST

(Adds analysts' comments, details)

By Sayantani Ghosh

BANGALORE, July 16 (Reuters) - Convergys Corp (CVG.N: Cotización), which runs customer call centers and handles billing for other businesses, agreed to acquire Intervoice Inc INTV.O for $335 million to bolster its interactive voice response services.

The offer price of $8.25 a share represents a 24 percent premium to Intervoice's Tuesday closing price of $6.67. Shares of Dallas-based Intervoice were trading up 22 percent at $8.12, following the news.

The deal values the company at more than 18 times estimated 2009 earnings, while the application software sector is valued at 26 times forward earnings.

Intervoice, which admitted to have been on the block for a year, did not generate enough interest among buyers, explaining cheap valuation metrics, Kaufman Bros analyst Karl Keirstead said by phone.

The company's shares had fallen nearly 40 percent since its year high of $11.03 in November, before today's gains.

Keirstead said the Street could react negatively to the deal since it may hurt 2008 and 2009 earnings.

Also, Convergys is restructuring its call center unit and the deal might be taking on too much, he added.   Continuación...