Essar sells Aegis for close to $300 million, exits BPO business

Essar Group on Monday said it was exiting the business process outsourcing (BPO) business by announcing the sale of its back-office firm Aegis to Singapore-based private equity fund manager Capital Square Partners.

The deal, according to the Press Trust of India, is valued at around $275-300 million, which the company plans to use to retire its debt.

In 2014, Essar had sold Aegis USA Inc, an outsourcing and technology company with operations in the United States, the Philippines and Costa Rica, to Teleperformance of Paris for $610 million.

Since then, it has been ramping its back-office arm. Aegis saw revenues worth $400 million in the previous financial year, employing over 40,000 people globally and 47 centres across 10 countries, including Sri Lanka, Australia, South Africa, Argentina, the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia.

“AGC Holdings Ltd, Mauritius, a wholly-owned portfolio company of Essar Global Ltd, has entered into a definitive agreement with Capital Square Partners (CSP) to sell 100 per cent of its stake,” Essar said in a statement.

“Net proceeds of this sale will be used to retire Essar’s debt,” it said, adding the transaction is likely to close by June 2017 subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

Essar entered the BPO business in 2004 with the acquisition of the US-based Aegis Communications Group, with 2,000 employees.

“This transaction is in line with our strategy of incubating, building and operating world-class businesses, and being open to monetizing them at a premium value when the market conditions are favourable,” Uday Gujadhur, director-AGC, said.

Sandip Sen, managing director, Aegis, said: “Aegis has established itself as a high-value service provider to its customers. We shall continue to provide quality service to our esteemed customers and be an employer of choice. I am confident that the added capabilities of our new shareholder will present an even more compelling value proposition to the marketplace.”

Essar’s advisors in the transaction include Axis Capital as a financial advisor, Platinum Partners and Sidley Austin as legal advisors. Shearman & Sterling and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas acted as legal advisors to CSP.