Infosys tries to buck outsourcing slowdown by buying Swiss firm

SOFTWARE exporter Infosys said yesterday it had agreed to pay 330m Swiss francs (£218.4m) for Lodestone, a Zurich-based technology consultancy.

Infosys, which has seen outsourcing income in its home country of India and in key US and UK markets hit by increased competition and the global slowdown, said the purchase was part of a strategy to improve its consultancy and software businesses instead of the less profitable outsourcing operation.

The Bangalore-based firm has missed sales targets and seen its share price slump this year. The Lodestone deal will add around 200 clients to Infosys’s roster of 711.

“A key plank of our Infosys 3.0 strategy is to expand our Consulting & Systems Integration business. This acquisition fits perfectly into that strategy,” chief executive SD Shibulal said. The cash deal is expected to close by the end of October.

Rival outsourcers Cognizant and Tata Consultancy have outperformed Infosys’s growth in recent months despite the global decline in outsourcing spending.