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NYSE-listed outsourcing firm WNS (Holdings) Ltd has entered into an agreement with Paxys, Inc., its joint venture partner in WNS Philippines, Inc., to acquire the latter’s 35 per cent stake in the JV for an undisclosed sum, the company has said in a statement.

Following the acquisition of Paxys’ stake, WNS Philippines will become a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of WNS Holdings, the statement added.

Although the deal value has not been disclosed, Philippines media reports state that the 35 per cent stake sale has amounted to 7.6 million shares at an estimated price of P90.88 million or Rs 10.43 crore.

Founded in 1996 and headquartered in Mumbai, WNS provides offshore business process outsourcing (BPO) services including data, voice, research & analytical services, sales & customer care, finance and accounting, operations, and platform-based & shared services. The company caters to various industry segments like travel and leisure, consumer products, retail, professional services, pharmaceutical and media & entertainment. WNS primarily serves European and North American firms, and also companies across the globe.

In October this year, WNS has filed a shelf registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which may pave the way for the private equity major Warburg Pincus to exit the firm. Once approved by the US market regulator, it will allow Warburg Pincus to sell its 47.9 per cent stake that may fetch around $258 million, given the current share price trends.

Other shareholders of WNS include Nalanda India Fund (11.7 per cent), Columbia Wanger Asset Management (13.45 per cent) and FMR LLC (14.3 per cent).

The original joint venture agreement was signed in April 2008 and provided for a JV term of four years from the commencement of operations in July 2008. The parties have mutually agreed to terminate the JV agreement, effective from November 1, 2011, following WNS’ acquisition of Paxys’ stake for “a consideration determined in accordance with the formula set out in the original joint venture agreement.”

“The Philippines is of strategic importance to us, as part of our global delivery strategy, and we expect to continue to invest in the Philippines as we grow our business,” said Keshav R. Murugesh, group CEO at WNS. “We have enjoyed a fruitful partnership with Paxys for over three years and would welcome the opportunity to work with them again in the future.”

Incidentally, PAX is a holding company that focuses on investments in the BPO industry within the Asia-Pacific region. The company’s subsidiaries are engaged in diversified services such as contact centre, data transcription, salary packaging and software solutions. PAX’s subsidiaries include ACS, ScopeWorks Asia, Inc., Global Ideology Corporation, Paxys N.V, Paxys Australia Pty Ltd, SmartSalary Pty Ltd and Stellar Global Solutions Philippines, Inc.

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