BT is to acquire the California-based IT consulting firm, International Network Services (INS), as the company continues to bolster its profile in the US.

The British corporation said the deal would help expand the firm beyond its core telecommunications market. INS will become part of BT’s growing global services IT group, which aims to double its US revenue by 2009.

BT would not reveal the cost of the acquisition, but analysts believe it could be in the region of £100 million.

Andy Green, chief executive of BT’s global services, said: “The INS business is another great services acquisition for us. It significantly boosts our ability to supply world-class professional services to US-headquartered corporations and increases BT’s presence in the key North American market.”

INS employs 900 consultants in 12 countries who will now join the BT payroll. According to the consulting firm, it has worked with 75 per cent of the Fortune 500 and in September 2005 had assets of almost $50 million (£27 million).

The consulting company specialises in risk management, infrastructure transformation, business productivity and IT architecture.

In October last year, BT bought the California-based managed security services firm, Counterpane, for nearly $40 million (£21 million), as part of a strategy to expand and develop its global professional services capabilities, to large and small businesses and the public sector.