Global player IMS Health has acquired Baring Private Equity-backed PharmARC Analytics Solutions Ltd, a Bangalore-based knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) firm focused on pharma and healthcare verticals, for an undisclosed sum.

This acquisition strengthens IMS Health’s business process outsourcing capabilities and complements its suite of proprietary technology and software applications, the company said on the acquisition.

IMS Health is owned by private equity major TPG Capital and the CPP Investment Board, who acquired it for $5.2 billion in 2009. Founded in 1954, IMS Health (formerly Intercontinental Marketing Services) provides analytics, commercial services and business intelligence platforms to its healthcare clients in more than 100 countries. The company is based in Norwalk, Connecticut, with offices across Japan, China, the Middle East, the Asia-Pacific, North and South Europe, Canada, Latin America and Africa.

Bangalore-headquartered PharmARC was founded by Siraj Dhanani and Amit Sadana in 2003. The KPO has offices in Basel (Switzerland) and New Jersey (USA), and provides sales & marketing analytics and business consulting services across pharmaceutical and healthcare industry. It claims to cater to 15 of the top 20 pharma companies, as well as over 50 life sciences companies in the USA, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region.

Baring India Private Equity Fund II invested $10 million in PharmARC in 2006.

“Life sciences companies are looking for partners that can pull together the right market and technology expertise, information assets and resources to help them optimise commercial operations worldwide,” said Chris Nickum, president of IMS Commercial Effectiveness Services while commenting on the acquisition.

The healthcare KPO space has recently seen considerable action in terms of merger and acquisition. While US software services firm Cognizant Technology Solutions acquired marketRx, Inc., for $135 million (Rs 537 crore) in an all-cash deal, New York Stock Exchange-listed BPO major WNS acquired another Bangalore-based analytics firm Marketics for an estimated $65 million. In fact, smaller companies with specialised expertise in niche areas have always been targeted by big technology companies. For instance, in the past three years, Wipro acquired more than a dozen firms at prices ranging from $20 million to $600 million.

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