Cap Gemini Says U.S. Unit Not For Sale

"Cap Gemini denies having begun the process of the sale of its North American activities," a Cap Gemini said, quoted by the London-based financial news service AFX News. The denial came after a report in Friday's New York Times that the firm was quietly looking for potential purchasers of the unit.

While the U.S. operation has generally been a drag on Cap Gemini's profits, the operation recently won a big $3.5 billion contract to provide services for Dallas-based TXU.

In noting that Cap Gemini had built its U.S. operation on the purchase of Ernst and Young's consulting business for $11.1 billion in 2000, the newspaper said the sale of the operation today might not reach $1 billion. Cap Gemini made the purchase at the height of the technology bubble.

In Paris, Cap Gemini said Friday that it is concentrating on improving its North American operations. In its financial report for its third quarter announced earlier this month, Cap Gemini said its results represented a "turnaround" with revenues up 16.7 percent in Europe and 2.8 percent in the U.S.

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