Cognizant to buy life sciences firm Zenith Tech

Nasdaq-listed IT services major Cognizant on Tuesday announced the acquisition of Zenith Technologies, a privately-held life sciences manufacturing technology services company.

Cognizant did not disclose the deal value. More than 800 of Zenith’s employees will become part of Cognizant's Life Sciences business unit, according to a statement.

Cognizant is based in New Jersey and has extensive development operations in India, chiefly in Chennai. The firm said that it expects to conclude the transaction in the third quarter of 2019, subject to closing conditions including regulatory approvals. 

This is the second Irish company being acquired by Cognizant. VCCircle had reported in March that Cognizant was acquiring Irish financial software firm Meritsoft for an undisclosed amount to expand its software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings.

Zenith specialises in implementing digital technologies to manage, control and optimise drug and medical device production for maximum operational efficiency and regulatory compliance. 

The acquisition will help extend Cognizant's capabilities for designing, implementing and managing end-to-end operational and information technology systems for connected biopharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, it said.

“Interconnected ‘smart factories’ have become a strategic priority for the industry, with production systems and processes becoming more complex because of research advances and increased demand for large-molecule biologics,” said Cognizant.

According to the IT firm, the combined expertise of both companies will help deliver a range of Industry 4.0 capabilities, from factory design consultation, machine sensor and controller instrumentation, supervisory control, and data acquisition, to manufacturing execution systems, batch automation, enterprise resource planning integration and managed services.

“In acquiring Zenith Technologies, we expand Cognizant's IoT portfolio and extend our life sciences domain expertise by becoming a single-source provider of end-to-end smart factory capabilities,” said Brian Humphries, chief executive officer of Cognizant.

“Together, we are better positioned to help clients realise information and operational technology convergence in their manufacturing operations, and advance the development of life-saving drugs, biologics, specialised pharmaceuticals and medical devices,” he added.

Humphries took charge of Cognizant on April 1. The former Vodafone Business CEO replaced Francisco D'Souza, who had led Cognizant for more than a decade. 

The Zenith deal also marks Cognizant’s second acquisition of 2019 after completing at least five buyouts last year — content firm Mustache, digital transformation consultant SaaSfocus, revenue management consulting firm Advanced Technology Group (ATG), data analytics company Hedera Consulting and US-based Bolder Healthcare Solutions.

Founded in 1998, Zenith Technologies operates on five continents, with 16 locations across the world. Zenith Technologies works with nine of the world's 10 largest biopharmaceutical manufacturers, implementing and supporting their manufacturing lifecycle software through its Consultancy, Manufacturing Digital and Automation Systems Integration, and Manufacturing Site Services business lines.

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