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Aditya Birla Group selling BPO arm to private investors backed by CX Partners for $260M

31 January, 2014

Diversified business conglomerate Aditya Birla Group is selling its business and technology outsourcing firm Aditya Birla Minacs Worldwide to a consortium of private investors of Indian origin who are backed by private equity firm CX Partners for an enterprise value of $260 million (Rs 1,600 crore), subject to working capital adjustments.

This would mark the group’s exit from the IT services business, which was housed under public listed group firm Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd (ABNL).

The acquirers are led by Capital Square Partners, a private investment firm floated to deploy principal capital of Singapore-based entrepreneur-turned-investors Sanjay Chakrabarty and Aparup Sengupta. Chakrabarty was the founder and director of MobiApps. They are backed in the transaction by India-focused private equity firm CX Partners.

“We are extremely excited about our acquisition of Minacs, a storied BPO player with a rich, three-decade history of serving a blue-chip roster of clients. We see tremendous opportunity to add value to Minacs’ strategic roadmap by building on its great capabilities in customer lifecycle, marketing and other back office services,” Chakrabarty and Sengupta said in a joint statement. 

“Considering ABNL’s capital commitment and growth plans for other businesses, the company has decided to divest Minacs. We are confident that the new shareholders will provide the requisite direction to Minacs and enable it to rise to its full potential,” Aditya Birla Nuvo’s managing director Rakesh Jain said. 

Aditya Birla Minacs, which has around 21,000 employees across 35 locations in the world, is the country’s sixth largest BPO firm, according to industry body NASSCOM. It caters to clients in the manufacturing, retail, telecom, technology, media and entertainment, banking, insurance, healthcare and public sectors. 

The multi-billion dollar business group forayed into the IT industry in 2001 after it acquired Bangalore-based PSI Data Systems, co-founded by Rediff promoter Ajit Balakrishnan. In 2007, it took over BPO company Transworks from IITians Rizwan Koita and Jagdish Moorjani, followed by the acquisition of Canada-based CRM services company Minacs. The company then merged Transworks and Minacs operations to form Aditya Birla Minacs.

For the year ended March 31, 2013, Aditya Birla Minacs saw revenues climb 18 per cent to $457 million (Rs 2,466 crore). It has transformed its business over the last few years, with 40 per cent of its revenues now coming from non-voice services.

Its operating EBITDA grew 23 per cent to Rs 247 crore ($46 million) and EBITDA margin improved from 9.6 per cent to 10 per cent last fiscal. In the same period, net profit surged 80 per cent from Rs 70 crore to Rs 125 crore. 

The transaction is expected to close in two to three months, subject to customary closing conditions, third party consent and regulatory approvals.

Macquarie Capital acted as the exclusive financial advisor, while Shearman & Sterling were the legal advisor to the PE consortium on the transaction. 

This is the third significant PE transaction in the IT & ITeS space over the last few years. Most recently Baring PE Asia acquired a majority stake in Hexaware Technologies and prior to that Bain Capital joined hands with Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC to buy a minority stake in Genpact. Previously Apax Partners backed iGate to acquire Patni Computers.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)


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Aditya Birla Group selling BPO arm to private investors backed by CX Partners for $260M

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