To shore up its European presence, Tata Consultancy Services will acquire France-based IT services company Alti SA for €75 million (Rs 534 crore).

The all-cash deal will help the Tata group company emerge a major player in France, the third largest IT services market in Europe, TCS said in a statement.

Alti is a technology services firm with expertise in enterprise and customer relations management solutions. Two equity funds, CM-CIC LBO Partners and IDI, hold stakes in the privately owned company that employs 1,200 in France, Belgium and Switzerland.

“This acquisition underlines our long-term, strategic commitment to France, which is the third largest IT services market in Europe. The acquisition of Alti will help us serve clients in France and across Europe more comprehensively,” said TCS Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director N. Chandrasekaran. “I am confident that this acquisition will help us accelerate our growth and presence in France.” The French IT services market, estimated at over €30 billion, lags only Britain and Germany in size. TCS has been operating in France since 1992 and has over 50 clients in the country.

“In the current economic environment, [French] Chief Information Officers see TCS as a welcome game changer that offers significantly lower pricing, better service levels, more sophisticated offerings, a customer-centric mindset, and a global footprint,” said Peter Schumacher, Chief Executive Officer of management consulting firm Value Leadership Group.

In an interaction with Business Line last year, Chandrasekaran said the company’s mergers and acquisition strategy is focused on market presence, adding, “We are interested in Europe, Japan, the US, and in healthcare and platforms. We keep on looking.”

Ian Marriott, Vice-President for Research with Gartner, said: “The UK would be an anchor market for growth for TCS as the company would be looking for growth in Germany, France and Nordic countries. Other Indian companies are also likely to make similar acquisitions in these regions.”

TCS shares, which rose as much as 2.2 per cent on Tuesday, closed up 1.10 per cent at Rs 1,497.30 on a weak BSE.

(This article was published on April 9, 2013)
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