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HCL Technologies to acquire IBM software products for $1.8 billion, marks as Biggest Indian IT deal

HCL Technologies to acquire IBM software products for $1.8 billion, marks as Biggest Indian IT deal

HCL Technologies, India’s third-largest information technology services company, has agreed to acquire some software assets from IBM for $1.8 billion, in one of the biggest acquisitions by an Indian IT firm.

HCL Technologies after series of negotiations in last couple of months the deal had been finalized to acquire software business division from US-based IBM Corp for $1.8 billion, the companies recently announced, inking the largest acquisition ever by an Indian IT services firm.

HCL Tech will buy seven software platforms from IBM, giving it a larger clientele and allowing it to step up its presence in areas such as commerce, security, and marketing — an over $50 billion market opportunity that the Indian firm said would help boost revenues and profits.

The deal will also help HCL collect additional revenue of about $650 million in the second year of the acquisition on a run-rate basis, though sales would take a roughly $25 million hit in the first year.

Shares of HCL Tech, which lags bigger local rivals TCS and Infosys in big data analytics and cloud computing, plunged as much as 7.7 per cent on Friday to their lowest since July 6 after the deal was announced.

The fall wiped out around $1.5 billion off the market value of the company backed by India’s sixth-richest person Shiv Nadar.

Some IT analysts said the deal did not make strategic sense for HCL over the long term because it already maintained a partnership with IBM for a bulk of the products it was buying and was overpaying for the purchase.

The products it is selling include its secure-device management product BigFix, marketing automation software Unica and workstream collaboration product Connections.

The products being acquired were in the middle or end of their life cycles and would likely not show more than a mid-single digit percentage growth, Indian brokerage Axis Capital said.

“This deal is a negative from HCL’s standpoint,” said Sudheer Guntupalli, an analyst with Ambit Capital, adding that HCL would have to keep investing in these products to ensure they don’t become outdated.

HCL recorded revenue of Rs 505.69 billion ($7.16 billion) in the last fiscal year. TCS, the largest listed company in India, made Rs 1.23 trillion in revenue, while Infosys raked in Rs 705.22 billion.

The company plans to fund the deal — which is expected to close by mid-2019 — through internal accruals and debt of $300 million at close and pay most of the acquisition price after the first year.

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