Birmingham-based SCC, the pan-European IT group, has clinched a major deal in France, buying managed services provider TBI-Proxis Services for an undisclosed sum.
TBI has a turnover of 50 million euros (£34 million), employs 550 people, and has 12 offices across France with its main bases around Toulouse and Evry, near Paris.
The deal, in conjunction with existing interests, puts SCC as a top ten French infrastructure services business with an annual turnover of 1 . 1 billion euros (£748 million).
SCC said the acquisition improved both its European services market position and its ability to compete on value. It optimises SCC's services capabilities in France and extends the customer base. Its French arm is second only to the UK in size.
Sir Peter Rigby, chairman and chief executive, said: "SCC has underlined its commitment to the French market by continuing to invest in it against a backdrop of industry consolidation and challenging market conditions.
"This acquisition dramatically extends our services capabilities there representing another important step in our drive to provide integrated services and solutions to global blue-chip organisations.
"SCC has a proven track record in not only making strategic acquisitions but in retaining value and fully integrating them into our European business. TBI-Proxis Services is no exception. I believe this is a strong and complementary match that reinforces our position as Europe's largest independent technology group."
Elisabeth de Maulde, general manager of analysts Pierre Audouin Conseil, said: "The ability to provide customers with desktop to datacentre infrastructure services is absolutely critical to survive in today's challenging market. With this deal, SCC has become a top ten French infrastructure services provider, confirming its position as a truly pan-European technology solutions and services player."
TBI's core expertise is around delivering fully managed services across the entire IT infrastructure, from the desktop to the data centre. Key capabilities include remote management, internet hosting, 24/7 maintenance, desktop services, infrastructure service desk and user help desk support.
Customers include HP and Vediorbis, a leading global recruitment consultancy. It has a strong business partnership with HP, and, like SCC, is Microsoft Gold certified.
Jacques Vincent, director general of SCC in France, said: "This acquisition is good for the employees of both SCC and TBI-Proxis Services, but the primary beneficiary is our customer base.
"Integrating two complementary organisations to form a major services player in France they can access endtoend, value add, services across their IT infrastructure."
Emile Morales, president of TBI-Proxis Services, said: "We are committed to developing a business that optimises a customer's IT infrastructure, delivering tangible performance and organisational benefits.
To maximise our potential we need to operate on a pan-European scale and so I am delighted to have this opportunity as a result of our deal with SCC." SCC is a leading provider of IT services and solutions that drive cost savings and performance improvement for European based public and privatesector organisations.
It holds leading positions in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK, and has a business partner network in over 60 countries worldwide. Its European customer base include Air France, British Airways, Carrefour, La Caixa, CSC, Deloitte, Disney, the Dutch Ministry of Defence, the Gucci Group, Mazda, Orange and Save the Children.
SCC aims to be Europe's number one provider of technology services and products by 2008. It has over 6,000 employees, a pan-European network of 65 offices, and a turnover approaching three billion euros.