Essar exits BPO business with sale of Aegis to Capital Square for $300 mn

Essar group has sold its BPO arm Aegis to Capital Square Partners (CSP) for an estimated $300 million, an amount far lower than the $1 billion it was bargaining for in 2012 for its unified BPO business.

Though the companies did not disclose the deal size, industry estimates peg it at close to $300 million, considering the declining valuations of Indian business processing outsourcing companies,

In 2012, Essar was in discussions to sell Aegis for as much as $1 billion but did not go through with the deal. Subsequently, the company was broken up, and in 2014, Aegis USA Inc (comprising Aegis' operations in the US, the Philippines and Costa Rica) was sold to Teleperformance for $610 million.

With Monday's deal, Essar would have made close to 1$ billion from Aegis, five years after the initial discussion began. The deal marks Essar Global's complete exit from the BPO business.

Essar plans to use the funds to retire part of its Rs75,000 crore debt.

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

Reports quoting Sandip Sen, managing director of Aegis, said during the new phase of growth sans acquisition bt Capital Square Partners, Aegis will look at acquiring new businesses, new capabilities - particularly in the areas of analytics - and contacts, including networking and partnerships.

With around $400 million in annual revenues, and more than 40,000 employees, Aegis operates in 47 centres across 10 countries.

Aegis is planning to re-enter US and the Philippines, Sen said, adding that the deal would not include any changes in the management structure and that the company would augment its hiring plans.

''Before the deal happened we expected to add 6,000-8,000 employees this year. I think those numbers will go far higher,'' he said.