SINGAPORE, Sept 27 (Reuters) Indian software services firm Satyam Computer Services said on Thursday it was seeking to buy IT infrastructure firms in the U.S. and Europe to boost business with banking and telecom clients.
Satyam, which earns most of its revenue by selling business software, consulting and process outsourcing, has seen fast growth in the infrastructure management services (IMS) segment where it helps firms with their networks and databases.
''We are already in talks with some companies for acquisition in the IMS space in Europe and the United States,'' Satyam's director Virender Aggarwal told Reuters in a phone interview from Brisbane, Australia, at the opening of an IT solutions centre.
''We have seen very strong growth in the IMS and we want to strengthen our position in this segment, which would benefit our clients in banking and telecom sectors,'' he said, adding the company has about a $1 billion in cash reserves.
He did not give further details about the planned acquisitions or possible timeframes.
Shares of Satyam, which has a market value of more than US$15 billion, rose as much as 3.4 percent following Aggarwal's comments, outperforming a 1.1 percent gain in the broader Bombay index <.BSESN>.
IMS only contributed 4.6 percent of Satyam's revenues in the fiscal year ending March 2007, compared with the consulting and enterprise solutions contribution of about 41 percent.
Satyam competes with Tata Consultancy Services , Infosys Technologies and Wipro Ltd at home and companies like Accenture and Electronic Data Systems globally.
Singapore-based Aggarwal, who heads Satyam's business in Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East, said the company expects the region to contribute more than 20 percent of global revenues by March 2010, up from around 18 percent.
''Revenue for the whole company has grown at an average of 30 percent in the past few years and we expect revenue in this region to grow faster than that in coming years.'' Aggarwal said Australia, Satyam's third-largest market after the United States and Europe, would lead growth in the Asia Pacific with big deals likely to come from the government as well as energy and utilities firms. Satyam's top clients in Australia include Qantas Airways .
Aggarwal also said Satyam plans to expand in China, Malaysia and Egypt by hiring more staff to serve new customers.
He said the number of Satyam staff in China would grow to 2,500 from 500, in Malaysia to 2,000 from 500 and in Egypt to 300 from 75 by the end of 2008.
''The expansion will come as we hope to win several big deals in the region,'' Aggarwal said.
India's large pool of English-speaking engineering graduates and wages well below western salaries have helped to attract outsourcing from overseas companies seeking to cut costs.
According to research firm Gartner, the information technology services market is set to grow 8.7 percent globally to more than $730 billion this year as companies continue to cut costs and seek new ways of doing business.
But the stock is still down 9 percent this year after worries about a U.S. credit squeeze.
REUTERS MP DS1706