Wakefield, Mass. - Darwin Partners Inc., a provider of a range of IT services to Fortune 1000 companies, and Suzsoft Co. Ltd., a China-based provider of outsourced application development, quality assurance, and localization services, have announced plans to merge.Founded in 2001, Suzsoft is privately held and has grown rapidly to become a leading IT outsourcing platform in China specializing in several industry verticals, including financial services, health care, technology, insurance and telecommunications.

"By combining Darwin's front-end consulting and engagement management competencies with Suzsoft's China offshore development capabilities, the merger provides U.S.-based IT and management consulting clients with a single-source for offshore delivery," says Al Perkins, chairman of Darwin Partners. "The merger creates a combined offering competitive with both the leading U.S. IT consulting firms and also the leading Indian IT outsourcing companies,"

The combined company will combine a Chinese offshore IT services company with U.S. front-end capabilities and numerous established relationships within U.S. clients across multiple industry verticals. The combined company will be focused geographically on the U.S., Asia and Europe and will have approximately 750 employees, with the expectation to increase operations to more than 1000 employees by year-end 2006. James Tong will remain CEO of Suzsoft and will also join the board of directors of the combined company. It will have principal offices in Greater Shanghai and Greater Boston.

"The combined Darwin-Suzsoft management team brings to clients an integrated U.S.-China practice with experience in IT consulting directly relevant to CIOs of major U.S. corporations, offshore software development experience from India and China, and most importantly, a unified strategy on how to achieve the next generation of IT outsourcing via offshore development in China," says James Tong.

"Having solicited extensive feedback from some of our most important U.S. clients, it was clear that the U.S. market for outsourced IT services is seeking an alternative to India. Mitigation of geo-political and vendor concentration risks as well as the rising cost of labor in India and the need for a broad based global sourcing strategy are some of the reasons. However, cultural concerns around day-to-day management of operations in China have prohibited American companies from establishing operations there. The Suzsoft acquisition is a first-step in meeting this need," says Bruce Ferland, president of Darwin Partners.

Sources: Darwin Partners, Suzsoft Co. Ltd.

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