AION Capital sells 85% stake in BPO firm to Baring PE Asia for $810 mn
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Hong Kong-based private equity major Baring PE Asia (Baring) has acquired 85% stake in specialist backend services firm IGT Solutions, formerly InterGlobe Technologies, from an affiliate of Apollo Global Management for around $810 million (around Rs 6,300 crore).

The stake was picked up from AION Capital Partners, which was formed as a joint venture between Apollo Global and homegrown private equity investor, ICICI Venture. The JV was terminated in April 2020 and the entity’s existing portfolio is currently managed by Apollo.

The deal concluded a couple of days ago after receiving all regulatory approvals. AION Capital, which had acquired the firm in 2019, will continue to hold the remaining stake, confirmed two people aware of the development.

Around January 2019, AION Capital had acquired IGT Solutions, the business process outsourcing (BPO) services arm of InterGlobe Enterprises Pvt. Ltd which is the parent of India’s budget airline IndiGo. 

At the time of the acquisition, the deal was sized at around $250 million, of which $150 million was equity and the balance $100 million was infused through debt capital, one of the persons quoted above said. 

The Apollo investment vehicle is understood to have garnered 55% returns and a multiple of 4.5 times on the 3.5-year investment bet. The uptick is in the range of over $520 million, the person added.

AION Capital had made the acquisition along with other co-investors including Goldman Sachs (a limited partner in the transaction) which picked up minority stake.

Another person quoted above said Apollo is likely to sell the remaining stake over the next few years.  

Baring beat the world’s largest BPO Teleperformance SE to emerge as the highest bidder for the 85% in IGT Solutions. Other suitors in the race to buy IGT Solutions were global investor KKR & Co, Mumbai-based and NYSE-listed WNS Global Services and Asia-focused alternative asset manager PAG.

Apollo Global offered "no comments" while Baring and Goldman Sachs did not immediately respond to emailed queries.

IGT Solutions is the third deal made by Baring PE in the services space over the last one year. An active investor in the technology space, Baring also acquired listed infotech firm Coforge Ltd (formerly NIIT Technologies) and Virtusa in the last few years.

It also holds shares in HT Global IT Solutions and mid-sized Indian software services company Hexaware Technologies Ltd.

IGT was founded in 1998 by InterGlobe Enterprises. It is focused on the travel and hospitality industry and has more than 70 marquee customers globally. It provides digital contact centre services, digital services and solutions including chatbots, robotic process automation, travel analytics and social media services. 

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