A Cork-based company that develops technology to make the production of pharmaceutical products more efficient is to be bought by the global consulting firm Accenture for an undisclosed fee. 

Enterprise System Partners (ESP) employs 200 people in offices in Ireland, the US and Europe, with 100 of those based at its headquarters in Cork. 

The company makes systems that digitally track and document the bio-pharmaceutical production process, leading to increased automation in the supply chain. 

Accenture said the acquisition would expand its ability to help clients in the life sciences sector to digitise and transform their manufacturing operations. 

"The planned acquisition of ESP underscores our commitment to one of Ireland's most important and growing industries  life sciences," said Alastair Blair, country managing director for Accenture in Ireland. 

"We continue to invest in Ireland to grow our talent and increase our capabilities to help our clients apply the very latest digital technologies and drive innovation, further strengthening the position of Ireland as a leader in this industry." 

ESP was established 16 years ago by four founders, including its current managing director, Liam O'Brien. 

Since then the firm has rapidly expanded its operations and now serves 17 of the top 20 global pharmaceutical and biotech companies from offices in Ireland, France, the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Turkey and the US. 

"As part of Accenture, we will be able to offer enhanced services to transform our clients' operations by streamlining processes from early-stage research through development to manufacturing and distribution," said Mr O'Brien. 

Last year Accenture bought the Dublin based creative agency Rothco, which employs 170 people. 

The firm has also made other recent acquisitions around the world to expand its industrial design and manufacturing skills.