The United States KPMG Consulting group on Monday announced a major expansion of its activities in Europe.
It reported that it was acquiring the consulting activities of KPMG in Switzerland, Germany and Austria (KCA) for $685 million (SFr1.07 billion).
In a statement from its group headquarters in Virginia, KPMG Consulting said that the deal would provide it with "immediate critical mass" in one of Europe's largest and most important IT services markets.
It added that it expected the deal to add to earnings and strengthen its international operations.
KCA achieved annual revenue growth of more than 30 per cent between 1999 and 2001, while also realising "strong profitability", the statement said.
The three European consulting units had gross revenues in 2001 of $540 million, with a staff of 3,200.
"We are delighted to welcome one of Europe's marquee systems integration businesses into the KPMG Consulting family," commented Rand Blazer, the group's chairman and CEO.
"Together with our recently-announced Letter of Intent to acquire a number of independent Andersen Business Consulting units, the acquisition of KCA represents a significant extension of our global presence and a powerful addition to our company's European portfolio," he added.
The company also announced it had entered a definitive agreement to buy independent business consulting units of member forms of Andersen Worldwide in Switzerland, Japan, Norway, Finland and Sweden.
swissinfo with agencies