Invensys to lay off 700 to 800 Baan staff

In total, about 1000 people can expect to lose their jobs as UK software automation and controls group Invensys moves quickly to consolidate business software supplier Baan into its new Software and Systems division, an Invensys spokesman.

In total, about 1000 people can expect to lose their jobs as UK software automation and controls group Invensys moves quickly to consolidate business software supplier Baan into its new Software and Systems division, an Invensys spokesman.

"The new division will employ about 10,000 people, which will require some layoffs, though not all of those layoffs will happen at Baan," said Invensys spokesman Ben Brewerton.

During an employee conference call last Wednesday, Baan's new acting president, Laurens van der Tang, said that 700 to 800 Baan employees worldwide will receive pink slips, though he did not lay out specific dates, according to Baan spokesman Peter Kramer.

"It was announced at the end of May that the layoffs were necessary, so that is old news, but it will take a long time to organise," Kramer said. On September 1, Baan will give its employees the "first idea of how the reorganisation will go on," according to Kramer.

Kramer stressed no formal moves will be made until September and dismissed media reports that pink slips will be sent out on September 1 or even earlier in the case of Baan's US employees, or that new management teams will be announced in mid-August.

"I'm still trying to get confirmation about what occurred during [the] conference call, but the numbers sound about right," Invensys' Brewerton said.

The job layoffs will come mostly in the areas of marketing and sales, as well as "some back office jobs," but the majority of jobs in research and development will remain, according to Brewerton.

Invensys' offer to buy the Netherlands-based ERP (enterprise resource planning) software vendor, in a deal valued at approximately 762 million euros ($US696 million), was initially made at the end of May.

As part of its original offer, Invensys said it would have to purchase 95% of all Baan shares. On July 26, Invensys lowered that requirement to sell 50% of all shares plus one, for the original price of 2.85 euros per share ($US2.67).

A Baan shareholder vote on July 25 revealed that Invensys' total share purchase would equal 75% of Baan. The deadline for Baan shareholders to tender their shares to Invensys on August 1 has now been extended to August 29, Invensys' Brewerton said.

Invensys also expects Baan to be taken off blue-chip index on the Amsterdam stock exchange by Friday, though the 28% of Baan stock shares that have not been sold to Invensys will continue to trade, Brewerton said.

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