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ORANGE COUNTY BRIEFLY

Data Processing Hikes Payment for Rival

October 23, 1998|P.J. Huffstutter

Adjusting for a 34% drop in its stock price, Laguna Beach-based Data Processing Resources Corp. said Thursday it will pay up to 300,000 more shares than previously announced to acquire a privately held rival.

Data Processing, one of the largest U.S. providers of computer programmers and engineers to corporations, said shareholders of North Carolina-based Systems & Programming will get from 2.8 million to 3.3 million shares of the Orange County company's common stock. Initially, Data Processing agreed to pay 2.7 million to 3.3 million shares, valued at $85 million in stock.

But Data Processing's stock has dropped recently, from $32.63 in early June to the high teens this month. Analysts attribute the drop to market fluctuations and the Asian economic crisis. On Thursday, Data Processing shares rose $1.37, to $21.25.

The acquisition, which will turn Systems & Programming into a wholly owned subsidiary of Data Processing, is expected to be finalized by early December, officials said. The newly merged company will have about 3,000 employees, with nearly 800 staff based in Orange County.

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