IKYA to buy 49% stake in parent Fairfax-owned IT services co MFXchange

IKYA Group has signed a definitive agreement with ultimate parent Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd, to acquire 49 per cent stake in its US-based wholly-owned subsidiary MFXchange Holdings Inc, the company said in a stock market disclosure on Tuesday. It did not disclose the deal value.

The integration of MFXchange with IKYA will result in the formation of the Global Technology Services Group marking IKYA's entry into the IT services and solutions space in the Northern American market, it said.

As part of the latest deal, Vikram Gulati, who was the founding CEO and former MD of Happiest Minds, has been named as president of GTS Group of IKYA and CEO of MFXchange. Prior to joining Happiest Minds, he was president and CEO of Intelligroup Inc and headed the enterprise applications solutions business at Wipro Ltd.

"Gulati will be responsible for both strategic and operational aspects of the IT business. He will report to Ajit Isaac, MD and chairman IKYA Group and will be based out of New Delhi," the company added.

"Vikram as a leader walks tall in the IT industry and is one who would revel in the challenge of building our IT business from $200 million to a target milestone of $1 billion in size. His operating intensity and knowledge of IT market combined with IKYA's investment discipline, backed by the global reach and abilities of our principle investor, Fairfax, based in Canada, will make this a potent combination," said Ajit Isaac, MD and CEO, IKYA Group.

Canada-based MFXchange provides hosted information technology applications and outsourcing solutions for the US commercial property and casualty insurance industry. The company was founded in 2001 and is based in Toronto, Canada with data centres in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey; Roanoke, Virginia; and Toronto, Canada. It also has offices in Toronto, Canada; Dallas, Texas; Ireland; and India.

The new GTS Group would focus on three major areas including IT staff augmentation, solutions and products.

IKYA has been aggressive in striking inorganic expansion moves over the recent past. Recently IKYA acquired Canada-based IT and engineering professional firm Brainhunter for an undisclosed amount, and in June this year, it acquired Chennai-based industrial asset management firm Hofincons Infotech & Industrial Services Pvt Ltd, which is into electrical, mechanical and instrumentation services as well as facilities management.

Last year, Thomas Cook, which is controlled by Canada's Fairfax Financial Holdings, had bought a 74 per cent equity holding in the privately held IKYA Human Capital Solutions Ltd for Rs 256 crore.

Fairfax Financial Holdings is a financial services holding company which, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in property and casualty insurance and reinsurance and investment management.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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