Shares in Serco were up on the FTSE 100 in morning trading after the service company said it had agreed to acquire Indian outsourcing firm Intelenet for up to £385 million.

Intelenet operates in seven countries and provides its services mainly to the financial services, travel, healthcare and telecom industries. The company made an operating profit of £19 million in the full year ended 31 March 2011.

Serco said that the acquisition would allow it to access Indian BPO markets, which are predicted to grow at around 15 per cent per year in the medium term. The group said it would fund the acquisition using its debt facilities.

Chris Hyman, Chief Executive of Serco, said, "The acquisition of Intelenet supports our ambitions as a leading global service company. The international BPO market is growing quickly as companies seek out new ways to improve their service and reduce costs.

"Intelenet's high value capabilities and customer base, together with its economies of scale, means we can access new markets and strengthen our existing propositions. I am particularly delighted that the Intelenet management team will join us to continue driving the business forward. Their passion for their customers and people, and their philosophy of service excellence, means they will be a great asset to Serco."

Susir Kumar, Chief Executive of Intelenet Global Services, commented, "We are excited to become part of the Serco family which is strategically aligned to our business. Becoming part of Serco will propel us to our next phase of growth, by helping us to address a wider market and to provide more end-to-end solutions. My management team and employees keenly look forward to working with our new global colleagues. We are grateful for Blackstone, Barclays and HDFC for their tremendous support of the company and we are pleased to be continuing the strong relationship with them as our clients."

By 09:30 shares in Serco were up 1.97 per cent on the FTSE 100 to 568.50 pence per share.