Indian-American couple Bharat Desai and Neerja Sethi have agreed to sell US information technology group Syntel to French IT services group Atos for Rs 23,120 crore ($3.4  billion).

Desai has done his electrical engineering from IIT-Bombay. He grew up in Mombasa and in Ahmedabad and was born in Kenya. He also worked in TCS before he decided to do an MBA from the University of Michigan. In 1980, he met Sethi in the university while they were still studying and the two decided to start a company. Later, they decided to get married.

Bharat Desai, co-chairman of Syntel in a statement, said, “This is a very exciting development for Syntel. The Syntel board is committed to maximizing shareholder value and believes that the agreement with Atos achieves that objective and delivers a win-win proposition to our customers and employees.”

He added that the company’s focus at Syntel is to help customers transform and succeed in the digital economy. He said, “Since its founding, our “Customer for Life” ethos has guided our investments in high-impact, domain-led services and intellectual property.”

Syntel registered revenue of $924 million in 2017, 89 per cent of the revenue came from North America.

Desai added, “I am grateful for the trust and confidence of our customers and the passion, commitment and innovative spirit of our employees. Together they have enabled Syntel to achieve great heights. I am confident that this combination will deliver significant value to all stakeholders.”

Atos plans to expand its base to North America from the acquisition.

Thierry Breton, chief executive officer, Atos, said, “This transaction is a major step in the strategy of Atos to reach a global scale.”

He added, “In particular, the highly complementary portfolio, customer base, and geographic footprint of the combination between Atos and Syntel will significantly enhance our presence in North America.”

Syntel will announce full second quarter results on Thursday, July 26.