Dallas (July 17, 2002) -- Experio Solutions, the technology consulting arm of electronics giant Hitachi Ltd., has hired 375 former Andersen employees, including 23 partners.
Financial terms were not disclosed. The Andersen employees, who officially joined Experio Monday, will receive an equity stake in the company, according to marketing director Jim Budkie. As part of the deal, Experio will gain 50 to 60 Andersen consulting clients, including Microsoft Corp., AT&T Wireless, said Budkie.Commenting on media reports that said the deal boots Experio's revenue by 50 percent to about $150 million, Budkie said, "Our target is to be $150 million run rate as we exit the year barring any further acquisitions."

With the deal, Experio also gains a foothold in the Pacific Northwest, a new geographic area for the company. The former Andersen employees hail primarily from the firm's Dallas, Pacific Northwest, Denver and Los Angeles offices.

Experio was formed in November 2000, when Hitachi bought the technology consulting arm of Grant Thornton for $175 million. Last July, Experio bought the former consulting arm of BDO Seidman, WaveBend.

Budkie said Experio is looking to make other acquisitions. "Right now we're well stocked west of the Mississippi," he said. "We have some strong capabilities east of the Mississippi, but we do have some geographic holes there. We also realize we need to expand into outsourcing in the near term. Right now, the IT and business consulting markets are not huge growth markets. Hitachi has a goal for us to become a $1 billion global consulting firm over next four to five years. The only path to that under today's market conditions is through acquisitions. Our focus will stay domestic in the short-term, but ultimately it will be global."

-- Melissa Klein

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