RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL — The EBX Group and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a strategic agreement that includes: IBM's investment in SIX Automacao; the creation at SIX Automacao of a joint center for the development of technology solutions and investments in R&D focused primarily on natural resources and infrastructure; and the outsourcing to IBM of IT operations of EBX Group.
As part of the strategic agreement, IBM will acquire 20% of SIX Automacao, the subsidiary of SIX Solucoes Inteligentes, the EBX Group company focused on technology. SIX Automacao was established in October 2011 after the purchase of AC Engineering, a company with 18 years of market experience. IBM will contribute smarter industry solutions, providing new products, software and services that complement SIX Automacao's expertise in sectors including oil and gas, mining, naval construction, naval ports and others. The two companies will create a broad portfolio for those areas, creating a unique, strategic position in the market.
The partnership also includes a research collaboration agreement, which will ensure synergy between EBX Group companies and IBM Research. SIX Automacao and IBM will jointly develop research programs and intellectual property focused on natural resources, sustainability and solutions aligned to IBM's Smarter Planet strategy, EBX Group's business needs and market requirements. A new Solution Center for joint industry solutions will be created to give customers in four Latin American countries (Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru) the ability to conduct tests, proofs of concept and customize technology for their specific needs.
The agreement gives IBM responsibility for EBX Group's IT operational activities through an outsourcing agreement valued at approximately $1 billion. The new 10-year contract covers EBX Group's IT infrastructure investments, operation services and new technology projects. It will cover all the companies of EBX Group, including international operations, such as those in Chile and Colombia. Its main objective is to ensure overall Group flexibility, scalability and solutions that support the expansion of all EBX Group businesses. The strategic management of IT remains with the Group, ensuring continuation of its standards of excellence and cutting-edge architecture.
The partnership with IBM will enhance SIX Automacao's entrance into the industrial technology solutions market, while also establishing joint research and development capabilities for EBX Group companies. It will also provide EBX Group with access to flexible, large-scale and competitive systems and IT infrastructure with the latest technology to support the rapid growth of the Group. EBX is investing US $15.5 billion between 2011 and 2012 in Brazil, generating 20,000 jobs
"Partnering with one of the largest technology companies in the world offers EBX Group a broad portfolio of modern IT solutions. IBM, in turn, will expand its presence in one of the most promising markets in the world, working with a Group that has a significant presence in strategic sectors," said Eike Batista, chairman of the EBX Group.
"This partnership with EBX Group demonstrates IBM's strength in generating higher value business," said Ricardo Pelegrini, IBM Brazil general manager. "EBX's business depth and industry insight opens up significant opportunities to collaborate on growth and new market development in Brazil and beyond. IBM brings innovation and cutting-edge technology that will contribute to the country's development through our Smarter Planet agenda," he added.