Cap Gemini has marked its further move into electronic commerce and smart cards with the acquisition of the UK finance and commerce arm of AT&T.
The acquisition, taking in 150 staff, was seen as part of an aggressive move by Cap Gemini to recruit an additional 2,500 people in the UK this year. Cap Gemini refused to say how much it bought the operation for, but analysts speculated that it paid up to £20 million.
Bob Scott, E-Com director at Cap Gemini, told PC Dealer: 'We've bought it to become an integral part of Cap Gemini. The group offers an extremely strong strategic fit with our existing business.'
He added: 'What AT&T brings is 150 people with blue-chip customer experience - customers we weren't working with because it was - and new processes we are interested in developing.'
Scott said smart cards of the type AT&T developed for Boots and Shell, with potential to store huge amounts of personal customer information, was a particularly attractive aspect of AT&T.
'Some of these more forward-thinking organisations have started to mine the data they get from loyalty cards to learn to make personal offers to customers,' he said.
Scott added AT&T was bought as a going concern, and while it would be incorporated into Cap Gemini, it was also an independent company with its own business plan. As part of integration, a management team had moved into the company's offices this week.
Scott said: 'We are becoming a major player in the emerging areas of electronic commerce and customer relation management.'
The 150 AT&T staff have concentrated on network-based services to blue-chip clients in a range of industry sectors. The staff, based in Redditch, Worcestershire, will transfer to Cap Gemini immediately. Cap Gemini UK employs about 7,000 people.
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