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Friday, 09 June 2006 05:13

Wipro acquires Finnish telecom firm for $32 million


When it comes to acquisitions, India’s third largest software exporter, Wipro Technologies, beats all other Indian IT firms hollow.

In its sixth acquisition in seven months, Wipro on Thursday said it has acquired the Finland-based Saraware Oy in an all cash deal worth $32 million. Just a week ago, Wipro  took over Enabler, an EU-based retail service provider for $53 million.

Saraware, a 21-year-old company, is a leading provider of design and engineering services to telecom companies. This acquisition adds expert domain competencies in the areas of radio networks and secure mobile platforms. Saraware has nearly 200 specialists in these domains based out of Finland.

Close to 50%  of  global market share in wireless infrastructure domain is dominated by major players in the Nordic belt.

Sudip Nandy, chief strategy officer, Wipro Technologies said "Over the past few months through acquisitions in Europe we have added local work force in Portugal , Austria, France, and Germany. Saraware gives us a local work-force in the Nordic region through a presence in Finland. This is in line with our drive to transform ourselves into a truly global company with global workforce."

Wipro’s R&D arm,  the product and engineering solutions (PES) division, is more than twice as large as that of its closest competitor,  Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India’s largest software exporter. It generates 35%  of its turnover and 60% comes from software services. Wipro sees that changing by 2010, when both would be in equal proportion.

On the telecom design services front, it does development work for Nokia as well as other leading telcos.

Ramesh Emani, president, product engineering services of Wipro Technologies said "This acquisition gives us much needed local presence in Finland and puts us in the heart of the Nordic region. We need to be near-shore when we take up more complex and end to end contracts with our customers.”

This acquisition brings niche skills in development of base station controllers and mobile communication platforms. Combined with its existing competencies, it helps Wipro penetrate into high growth segments like secure communications and gives it the capability to handle complete outsourcing deals in the evolving GSM, 3G and Tetra markets.

"This is a win-win partnership. Wipro adds scale and global reach to Saraware's domain competencies and strong Nordic presence. Together, we will be able to establish ourselves as leaders in the Wireless Networks and Secure Mobile platforms globally" said Risto Niva, CEO of Saraware.

A quick look at Wipro acquisitions

2002 - Spectramind for $ 93 million (Delhi, India)
2002 - GE Medical Systems Information Technologies Ltd, for $ 5.73 million ( Bangalore)
2002 – IT assets of Ericsson’s R&D arm in Hyderabad ( India)
2002 - Global Energy practice of American Management Systems Inc., for
$ 26 million
2003 – US-based Nervewire Inc. for $ 18.7 million
2005 (Dec )- NewLogic, an Austrian-based semiconductor design company for $ 56 million
2005  ( Dec)– mPower, New Jersey –based payment services provifer  for $28 Million
2006 – ( Feb)  cMango, a US-based Business Service Management company for $ 20 million
2006 – ( Mar) US-based Quantech, a mechanical design services firm, for $ 10
million plus earn outs for three years.
2006 – (June) EU – Enabler, retail services provider for $52.3 million
2006- (June) Finland-based Saraware Oy, telecom design services for $32 million

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