Business Process Outsourcing major Aegis is waiting for its instagram moment. The company promoters have made up their mind to sell it. The hunt is on for a suitable buyer, who can offer them their desired valuation. According to media reports, Essar Group is considering a sale of its billion dollar, BPO unit Aegis, after receiving non-binding offers from private equity giants. Market speculation say – Bain Capital and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR), among others, have been in discussions to buy out Aegis, which is the second largest independent back office firm after Genpact.
Ruias the promoters of essar group (which originally was in the construction business) ventured into telecom (which they sold it to vodafone), bought US-based Aegis in 2005 to foray into the BPO business. It’s no secret that Aegis was then a loss-making entity with a revenue of $50 million and 500 employees.
Essar group turned the business around through buyouts and acquisitions and is now reported to have an operating profit of $110 million. As per the last statistics available Aegis BPO employs 60,000 people in 50 locations worldwide and is tracking a revenue of $1bn in the current fiscal.
The reason behind the proposal to sell could be sluggish growth plus the Ruias tendency to sell a business at its near peak and make the most out of such transactions. There were reports that Aegis earlier wanted a US listing and had plans to sell stake to financial investors ahead of the initial public offering. The group was eyeing to raise $400 million through it. However, now the sole focus of the group seems to be raising capital and improve its cash chest.
Insiders confirm that Apax Partners which backed iGate’s acquisition of Patni Computer Systems will not pursue the deal. It will be interesting to see, who will give Ruias their another billion dollar moment and what would be the implication for such a deal on the indian BPO industry.