On September 22, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that DLK Legal in Poland and Kinstellar in Hungary and the Czech Republic, working together with Osborne Clarke as lead counsel, had advised Infosys on its EUR 30 million acquisition of GuideVision. CEEIHM spoke with Inderpreet Sawhney, Group General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at Infosys, to learn more about the deal.
CEEIHM: So our readers have a bit of background, tell us a bit about Infosys.
Inderpreet: Infosys is a global leader in technology services and consulting, enabling clients in over 45 countries to create and execute strategies for their digital transformation. For the year ending on March 31, 2020, we reported a revenue of USD 12.8 billion. Our market capitalization is approximately USD 51 billion. We have a healthy balance sheet, with approximately USD 2.9 billion of cash and cash equivalents. We employ 242,371 employees across the globe, serving clients across multiple industry segments such as financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, communications, energy & utilities, etc. We are listed on the Indian stock exchange and on the NYSE in the USA. Infosys was ranked #3 on 2019 Forbes' “World’s Best Regarded Companies” list for our world-class governance, trustworthiness, and the strength of our products and services
CEEIHM: What was the business case behind the acquisition of GuideVision?
Inderpreet: In terms of the business case, GuideVision is one of the largest ServiceNow Elite Partners in Europe. GuideVision is an award-winning enterprise service management consultancy specialized in offering strategic advisory, consulting, implementations, training, and support on the ServiceNow platform. GuideVision has a brilliant reputation in the ServiceNow ecosystem for its digital transformation skills, including end-to-end implementation expertise for clients globally, availability of local language speaking ServiceNow experts, and the ability to scale and train en masse. It has built trusted and satisfied strategic customer relationships, and has a scalable data replication tool that is complementary to our own ServiceNow capabilities in the region.
Ultimately, through this acquisition, Infosys further enhances its digital capabilities, strengthens Infosys' Cobalt portfolio of cloud services, and reaffirms our commitment to the growing ServiceNow ecosystem. GuideVision brings to Infosys end-to-end offerings, including SnowMirror – a proprietary smart data replication tool for ServiceNow instances – that enables over 100 enterprise clients to simplify complex business and IT processes. GuideVision’s training academy and nearshore capabilities in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and presence in Germany and Finland strengthens Infosys’ ServiceNow capabilities, offering clients in Europe unparalleled capabilities in cloud-first digital transformation.
CEEIHM: When the acquisition was announced, it was expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2021. What are the main steps to be taken until it is finalized?
Inderpreet: Actually, we have already completed the transaction on October 5, 2020. There were not many steps in between (as we completed most of the tasks prior to announcement) – only a few regulatory matters that we were waiting for to be finalized. This also explains the short period it took to close the deal since we announced it.
CEEIHM: What would you say was the most complex aspect of this acquisition? What were the main hurdles along the way and how did you overcome them?
Inderpreet: One of the most complex aspects of this acquisition was the presence of Guidevision in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, as well as its having capabilities in Germany and Finland, which presented many compliance-related and jurisdictional challenges. Also, while our legal team had proficiency in English, a lot of documentation was in local European languages, meaning we had to work with local jurisdictional experts to overcome this language barrier. Having said that, we had a pleasure working with different firms and teams and a lot of learning opportunities presented themselves.
CEEIHM: Infosys relied on Osborne Clarke, Kinstellar, and DLK Legal as legal advisers on this deal. What were the main considerations for which you picked each of them?
Inderpreet: Osborne Clarke is one of our go-to firms in Europe. In particular, one Partner – Herke Van Hulst, who lead this transaction – was by our side in a previous deal in Europe as well and we feel we've achieved a good level of understanding of each other by now. They know us well and how we approach various matters. Since this deal involved other jurisdictions where Osborne Clarke is not present, they needed to switch to someone on the ground for bits of the deal. They told us they have a few best friends that they trust – Kinstellar and DLK Legal – and we went with their recommendation. It simply came down to looking to replicate our successful past collaboration with someone who knew our standards and we knew we'd be comfortable to work with.