French IT services vendor Sopra is to acquire Inforsud Ingénierie, the technology subsidiary of Crédit Agricole's Regional Banks, the Caisses Régionales.
Under the terms of the proposed transaction, Crédit Agricole Group will transfer ownership of Inforsud Ingénierie (530 employees, €36 million revenue) in exchange for a minority equity stake (2.25% for a minimum of three years) in Sopra Group. The all-share deal is expected to be finalised before the year-end.
On completion, the combined entity is poised to become one of the premier consulting and system integration groups in France, and a leading service provider in the banking and finance sector. Inforsud will continue to operate from its existing production sites in southern France and will offer a range of solutions for the credit management and electronic banking market.
The deal substantially boosts Sopra's exposure to the banking and insurance sector, which accounted for 32.8% of its business as of 30 June 2003. Sopra expects the transaction to elevate its status in the domestic banking market and raise its profile internationally.