French call-centre operator Teleperformance to buy LanguageLine Solutions for $1.52 bn

French call-centre operator, Teleperformance SA, today struck a deal to buy US online phone and video translator LanguageLine Solutions LLC from private-equity firm Abry Partners for $1.52 billion.

Abry Partners had acquired LanguageLine in 2004 for $720 million.

Teleperformance said that the acquisition will be fully financed through a debt financing provided by Crédit Agricole, HSBC and Société Générale.

Founded in 1982, LanguageLine's Insight product can pair customer-support representatives with one of 8,000 interpreters via video link so they can have translated conversations in 240 languages including Chinese, Spanish, French, German and Arabic.

The California-based company, which has customers in health care, insurance, banking and government, had revenue of $388 million and adjusted profit of $147 million last year.

Daniel Julien, executive chairman and Paulo César Vasques, CEO of Teleperformance, said, ''This acquisition will reinforce and boost Teleperformance's global leadership as a provider of high end valueadded services, and will positively impact Teleperformance's profitability profile.''

Teleperformance is a customer service, technical support, and sales call centre outsourcing company. It operates 147,000 computerised workstations, with more than 190,000 employees across 311 contact centres in 65 countries and serves over 160 markets.

The Paris-based company operates in more than 66 different languages and dialects on behalf of major international companies in countries like the UK, Brazil, Chile, India, China, Mexico, Colombia, Norway, Canada, Australia and the Philippines.

The Euronext Paris-listed company reported consolidated revenue of €3.4 billion ($3.7 billion) last year.

Teleperformance expects to complete the deal by year-end and predicts it will add about 10 per cent to pro-forma earnings this year.