Montreal-based IT services firm CGI Group Inc. on Friday announced its offer to acquire Cognicase Inc., also based in Montreal.

Cognicase’s offerings focus on four main business solutions: financial processing; IT and outsourcing; enterprise relationship management (ERM); and public sector solutions. The company has offices across Quebec, as well as in Calgary, Ottawa and Toronto. In the U.S., Cognicase has locations in New York, New Jersey and Texas, and in Europe, its offices are located in France, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands.

CGI entered its bid to purchase all of the outstanding common shares of the company, and has entered a lock-up agreement with the firm’s largest shareholder and its largest client, the National Bank of Canada. The bank – which owns approximately 15 per cent of Cognicase – has agreed to tender its shares to CGI. Should the bid be approved, the bank’s existing outsourcing contracts with Cognicase will be extended for an additional ten years, according to a statement issued by CGI.

This deal would ultimately enable CGI to extend its presence into vertical sectors such as the financial industry, and would also promote the company’s presence in Western Canada and the U.S.

“This transaction is consistent with CGI’s three-year strategic plan as it will contribute to the ongoing consolidation of the Canadian IT services industry,” said Serge Godin, chairman of the board and CEO of CGI, in a statement. “It will provide greater stability to the clients of Cognicase and CGI, while ensuring that they have access to a broader range of IT services.”

The companies are on the Web at and