CGI makes another purchase

Montreal-based outsourcing provider CGI Group Inc. continued its buying ways as the company announced Thursday it has acquired Halifax-based Cornerstone Project Management Group Inc.

CGI only recently completed its acquisition of Montreal-based Cognicase Inc., which also provided IT outsourcing and public sector solutions. [Please see Cognicase changes tune on CGI offer.] At the time of the proposed bid for Cognicase, CGI’s Chairman of the board and CEO Serge Godin said the company’s plans were to continue to consolidate the “Canadian services industry.”

Cornerstone, a project management and business consulting outfit, currently has 25 individuals working in several verticals that include government, healthcare and financial services. Its customer base includes the Atlantic Blue Cross Care, Maritime Life, the Province of Nova Scotia and Brainworks International.

The move will likely bolster CGI’s presence in eastern Canada, as it already has regional offices in Halifax, Saint John, N.B. and Fredericton.

The friendly takeover began with the two companies talking partnership last year, which subsequently evolved into CGI buying Cornerstone outright. With Cornerstone’s presence mainly limited to Fredericton, a CGI spokesperson said the buy will bolster its position in a market it had looked to break into.

“With Cornerstone, it moves us more into a critical mass in Halifax. More importantly they have 25 very senior, very competent managers that are in a client base in Halifax that we see a lot of value in,” said Al Macdonald, senior vice-president Atlantic Canada, at CGI in Fredericton.

What made the acquisition particularly attractive to CGI was some of the vertical markets that Cornerstone was already in, Macdonald added. All of the former company’s 25 employees will join CGI.

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