Altran, a leader in high-tech engineering consulting, said India has emerged as a key market with strong potential for its aerospace, railway and energy businesses. It is also strategic to the company's growth.
"At present, we are conducting discussions with several key players, we expect to announce these acquisitions as soon as we complete the due diligence process," said Michel Bailly, chief technical officer of the Altran Group.
"We believe that these acquisitions will strengthen our existing capabilities in order to enhance our offerings."
Altran's expansion in India appears part of a trend. Bell Helicopter of the United States is opening an office in New Delhi. It already has helicopter maintenance and repair facilities in India in partnership with local companies.
"As one of the world's fastest growing economies and a large and diverse geographical area, India presents many opportunities for vertical lift," John L. Garrison, president chief executive officer of Bell Helicopter, said earlier this month.
More than 100 Bell aircraft are flying in the country in government, military and civil operations.
Europe's electronics giant Selex Galileo this month said it was plumbing the Indian market with a joint venture with India's Data Patterns Group.
"This joint venture will bring a technology value to India's growing defense program," said S Rangarajan, Data Patterns chief executive officer. "Selex Galileo is a leading global player and we are happy and proud to form a joint venture with them.
"This synergy will strengthen our capabilities to address our (India's ) defense requirements with today's technology solutions."
Altran said it is looking at niche sector Indian companies to acquire and build its workforce of high-technology experts in the country to 2,000 employees. It also noted its main global accounts are already engaged within India.
"In India, aerospace engineering is growing," said Sanjay Kumar, chief executive officer of Altran India. "Going forward, there will be greater emphasis on technology-driven ventures as the Offset Clause (a requirement by the government for technology exchange) gains momentum.
"We already have the capabilities to convert such deals into a win-win situation. We are working with some of the top European aerospace companies in India. Our objective is to ensure that we serve both Indian as well as international partners from this geography."
Altran last October announced its growth strategy: develop its business in Asia; give priority to six European countries through organic growth and acquisitions; and expand globally on embedded and critical systems and product lifecycle management.
"We have such exciting technologies from our global R&D teams," Sanjay said. "I am sure that Altran and the Indian Aerospace industry will forge a symbiotic relationship in the coming days in order to revolutionize the way innovative products are being developed."
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