CESC to acquire control of BPO firm Firstsource

The Sanjiv Goenka-promoted Calcutta Electric Supply Co (CESC) Ltd is set to buy a controlling 49.5 per cent stake in Firstsource Solutions, the country's fifth-ranked business process outsourcing (BPO) provider, in a deal valued at close to Rs800 crore.

Goenka told the TV18 in an interview that CESC will acquire 44.5 per cent in the company through preferential allotment and a further 5 per cent each from Firstsource's three existing investors - ICICI Bank, private equity firm Temasek, and Fidelity.

FirstSource would utilise the amount for the repayment of outstanding foreign currency convertible bonds through a preferential allotment of shares, Goenka told journalists. The transaction will also allow its existing investors to dilute their holdings through a partial sale of their stake.

The preferential allotment at Rs12.10 per share is at a discount to today's closing price of the stock on the BSE. CESC will also make an open offer as per Securities & Exchange Board norms for 26 per cent of the public shareholding. The open offer price will be as per the SEBI formula of sixth-month average share price or the two-week average, whichever is higher.

The CESC stake in Firstsource could go up to around 75 per cent depending on the success of the open offer.

Firstsource shares have gone up over 50 per cent in the last one month, and zoomed 7.6 per cent today.