Aug. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Wipro Ltd., India's third-largest computer-services provider, may buy a German competitor that advises companies running business software made by SAP AG.
The company will have sales of about $100 million to $200 million, Wipro Chairman Azim Premji said in a Bloomberg Television interview in London.
``We are looking for somebody which has a strong German presence, rather than a strong global presence, because we want to get more traction in Germany,'' Premji said. ``We have seen targets, we are in discussions. The time today is a good time, values have been beaten down. So we are actively working on it.''
Wipro joins bigger rival Infosys Technologies Ltd. in seeking to acquire companies in Europe to gain customers and opportunities to win bigger contracts as the U.S. economic slowdown curbs orders in its biggest market.
Infosys, India's second-biggest computer-services company, on Aug. 25 offered to buy Axon Group Plc, a U.K.-based adviser for SAP software, for 407.1 million pounds ($746 million) in cash. The purchase, if completed, would be the largest by an Indian technology company, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Wipro, based in Bangalore, last year acquired U.S.-based Infocrossing Inc. for $548 million, the biggest acquisition by an Indian software provider at the time.
Wipro in July reported fiscal first-quarter profit rose 14 percent to 8.14 billion rupees ($186 million), missing analyst estimates as customers in the U.S. cut and delayed orders, hit by the credit crisis and an economic slowdown.
Premji aims to boost Wipro's software sales in mainland Europe and plans to appoint separate country heads to run operations in France and Germany, he said. Revenue in the U.K. may touch $900 million this fiscal year, the chairman said.
Sales in Europe accounted for 25 percent of Wipro's revenue in the fiscal year ended March 31, compared with almost 50 percent from the U.S.
``Germany is open for business; France under new leadership and economic pressures is also opening up,'' Premji said. ``We had not focused so much on Germany and France earlier and now we are focusing on'' these markets, he said.
The global economic slowdown ``now flowing into Europe,'' is unlikely to slow revenue growth at Wipro as it is creating opportunities for winning contracts from large companies looking to reduce costs, Premji said.
``There will be some slowdown but it will not be substantial and the slowdown can be offset by winning large deals,'' he said.
The software-services company is bidding for 12 contracts worth at least $100 million each, Girish Paranjpe and SureshVaswani, the joint chief executive officers of Wipro's information technology business, said in June.
Large-sized contracts may account for as much as 10 percent of revenue in the year that started on April 1, helping boost profits that will grow at more than 10 percent, Premji said.
Wipro shares fell 2.9 percent to close at 414.10 rupees in Mumbai trading, compared with a 1.7 percent decline in the benchmark Sensitive Index. The stock has lost 21 percent this year, while the Sensex has dropped 31 percent.