TEANECK, N.J., and HAMBURG, Germany, Dec. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Cognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire six companies* of the C1 Group, an independent consulting and IT services firm based in Hamburg, Germany. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The companies focus on three industry segments: manufacturing and logistics, energy and utilities, and financial services. Known for their client-centric and innovative business culture, these companies bring deep expertise in enterprise application services (specifically SAP), and high-end testing services that range from test consulting, strategy and design, to implementation. Under the terms of the agreement, about 500 professionals across multiple locations in Germany and Switzerland will join Cognizant. The combination of C1's proven client-facing expertise deeply rooted in the local business environment, and Cognizant's global delivery capabilities will help clients in Europe to address their dual mandate of driving cost efficiencies and operational effectiveness, as well as innovation and business transformation. "We look forward to welcoming C1's talented professionals to Cognizant," said Francisco D'Souza, Chief Executive Officer of Cognizant. "This strategic acquisition underscores our commitment to the German and the larger European markets, and reinforces our position as one of the top consulting and IT services companies across the region. With this acquisition, Cognizant is even better positioned to help European clients achieve agility and competitive advantage by embracing a broad range of services. The client-first culture of the C1 team, driven by extensive local business insights, strong relationships and entrepreneurial passion, makes it an excellent strategic fit for Cognizant." "The agreement announced today is a major step forward for us," said Wilfried Forster, Founder of the C1 Group, on behalf of the companies acquired by Cognizant. "The outstanding growth and success of the C1 Group within the last ten years have been built on the foundation of customer satisfaction, expert teams with deep industry knowledge, and best-of-breed solutions. International expansion is critical for parts of the group to continue our strong growth, develop better solutions for our current and future customers, and provide greater opportunities for our employees. "Cognizant is a company with a similar entrepreneurial culture, widely recognized for customer satisfaction and innovation, and for being a premier employer. The merger of the C1 companies with Cognizant would support Cognizant's growth strategy for Europe and create a bond with C1's remaining companies. This move will enable the two companies to drive future diversification, and realize the strong growth potential of our combined strengths," added Wilfried Forster. Subject to the satisfaction of certain closing conditions and regulatory approvals, the transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013.