Thursday, August 13, 2009


The acquisition is expected to strengthen its domain-based solutions in key BFSI vertical

IT and BPO services company MphasiS today said it will acquire AIG Systems Solutions (AIGSS), the IT arm of the US-based insurance giant AIG (American International Group), for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition, which comes with guaranteed business from AIG, is expected to strengthen MphasiS’ domain-based solutions in its key banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) industry vertical, MphasiS CEO Ganesh Ayyar said. The BFSI segment brings in 40 per cent of the company’s revenues.

MphasiS, a majority of which is owned by Hewlett-Packard subsidiary EDS, did not disclose the financial details of the deal. With cash and bank balances of $74 million in its second quarter ended April 30 this year, the company is likely to fund the acquisition through internal accruals, according to analysts.

The MphasiS buy of AIGSS signals renewed activity in the tech merger and acquisitions space, which has been sluggish since January this year. TCS had bought the back-office unit of Citigroup Inc for $505 million in October last year, while Wipro acquired in December another captive unit of Citigroup for $127 million.

“Indian IT companies are positive on cash flows and are looking at rebounding from the recession through inorganic growth. We expect action to pick up on the M&A scene,” said Neeraj Atri of IndusView Advisors, a strategic consulting firm.

AIG, once the world’s largest insurance company, was part of an $800-billion fiscal stimulus package from the US government and has been looking at hiving off assets which fall outside its core insurance business.

AIGSS has around 800-850 people on its rolls, with offices in Chennai and Kolkata, and provides IT services to AIG companies worldwide, according to an MphasiS filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange. MphasiS currently employs 33,810 people, of which the applications services business has a total of around 15,000 employees. The acquisition is expected to help MphasiS gain market share in the insurance domain and enhance its portfolio of domain-specific solutions.

“This acquisition gives MphasiS the depth and breadth for us to be the preferred partner of choice in their (AIG’s) IT transformation,” MphasiS President (Applications Services Business Unit) Gopinathan Padmanabhan said in a statement.

Post-acquisition, AIGSS is expected to become part of the key application services business unit of MphasiS. This unit showed a quarter-on-quarter growth of 5.2 per cent for the period ended April 30 this year, and brought in 63.8 per cent of MphasiS’ total revenues. While the company has seen pressures in terms of pricing and solutioning, it has been winning new deals in the marketplace, CEO Ganesh Ayyar had said in a internal mail to employees in May this year.

For the second quarter ended April 30, MphasiS showed 219.1 per cent growth in PAT to Rs 224.5 crore from Rs 70.3 crore earlier. Total revenues for the quarter crossed Rs 1,000 crore, with consolidated topline at Rs 1,048.5 crore increasing 52.3 per cent from Rs 688.4 crore in the same period of 2008. The company hired 3,822 people to support growth during the quarter, of which 117 were freshers.

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