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Baring PE Asia-controlled Hexaware buys US consulting firm Mobiquity for $182 mn
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Hexaware Technologies Ltd, an IT services firm majority owned by Baring Private Equity Asia, has acquired US digital consultancy Mobiquity Inc. for about $182 million (Rs 1,266 crore) in cash to boost its cloud and automation capabilities.

The deal involves an upfront payment of $131 million and a deferred payment of $51 million, Hexaware said in a stock-exchange filing.

Hexaware joins bigger Indian IT peers such as Wipro Ltd and HCL Technologies Ltd in acquiring US companies to boost its digital capabilities. Earlier this month, Wipro agreed to buy US-based digital engineering services firm International TechneGroup Inc for $45 million while HCL inked a pact to acquire US-based Strong-Bridge Envision in March for an equal amount.

Boston-based Mobiquity is a privately held customer experience consulting firm that specialises in creating multi-channel digital experiences using cloud technologies. It creates digital products for well-known brands such as Amazon Web Services, Rabobank and Philips.

Hexaware said Mobiquity's strategy, design and mobile capabilities will strengthen its customer experiences proposition and help pursue large-scale digital deals. The acquisition will also help Hexaware gain traction in its focus areas of banking and pharmaceutical verticals, it said.

"Mobiquity strengthens two of our key strategic offerings: Cloudify Everything and Customer Experience Transformation," said Hexaware chief executive R Srikrishna. "We are seeing a strong demand for these capabilities and, with this acquisition, we will be able to further accelerate our contributions to our customers' business growth."Hexaware said Mobiquity's leadership and teams, led by CEO John Castleman, will continue without any changes to structure or ways of working.

Mobiquity adds to Hexaware's global delivery footprint with its centres in Florida, Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Amsterdam, Pune and Ahmedabad. 

Incorporated in 2011, Mobiquity reported revenue of $70 million for 2018, up from $53 million the year before and $46 million in 2016.

Baring PE Asia, which operates separately from Baring PE India, had acquired a 71% stake in Hexaware in 2013 from the company's founders, private equity firms General Atlantic and ChrysCapital and the public shareholders. Last year, Baring pared its stake in the mid-sized IT company. It currently holds a 62.59% stake in Hexaware.

Earlier this year, Baring signed pacts to acquire a 30% stake in another IT services company, NIIT Technologies Ltd, and made an open offer to buy up to 26% more. Media reports have previously said Baring PE Asia might merge Hexaware and NIIT Technologies.

To discuss the emerging opportunities and challenges in dealmaking, Mosaic Digital, the corporate banner behind VCCircle.com, is organising its next edition of M&A Summit on 26 June in Mumbai.

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