French IT services and consulting company Capgemini said yesterday it was buying New Jersey-based IGATE for $4 billion, boosting U.S.-generated business to nearly a third of its total activity. Hermelin said the combined companies would post an estimated 12.5 billion euros in annual revenues, 30 percent of which would be generated in North America, which he called the "largest and most innovative market for IT services... (and) by far the first market of the Group." In a conference call, Hermelin said that in considering various acquisition options, Capgemini had "above all looked for a company that would allow us to reinforce geographically in the United States" - something IGATE does by generating nearly 80 percent of its annual in revenues in North America. IGATE sales last year surged 19 percent to $1.3 billion. The purchase, which has been approved by the boards of both companies, also brings IGATE clients, including General Electric and the Bank of Canada, into Capgemini's stable. IGATE, an applications, network and business process outsourcing specialist, will also help to deepen Capgemini's position in the healthcare, retail and manufacturing markets. The tie-up will create a combined workforce of 190,000 employees, with around 50,000 servicing U.S. clients and another 27,000 based in India.