Everstone acquires Aon Hewitt’s payroll processing business in Asia-Pacific

India- and Southeast Asia-focused private equity firm Everstone Capital has acquired global human resource solutions firm Aon Hewitt's payroll processing business in the Asia Pacific region for an undisclosed amount, it said on Wednesday.

The deal involves acquisition of payroll business of the company from indirect subsidiaries in India, China, Philippines and Singapore.

The business has been brought by Singapore-headquartered Everstone arm Payfront Technologies Pte Ltd and will now operate under the brand of Excelity Global.

Gurinder Singh, head of Aon Hewitt’s Asia Pacific payroll business, will serve as CEO of Excelity Global.

In February, Competition Commission of India approved the PE firm's proposed deal to seal the Indian leg of the transaction. In India, the transaction involved acquisition of the payroll business of Aon Services India Pvt Ltd, an indirect subsidiary of Aon, as a going concern.

Notably, Everstone also has another portfolio company in India in the same space—Aparajitha Corporate Services Ltd. It had bought a minority stake in Aparajitha a year ago.

The newly christened Excelity Global provides a range of services in payroll processing and human resources management. It has over 400 clients across 17 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The company processes over 9 million pay slips annually.

“We foresee continued strong demand for payroll solutions in the region and believe our partners at Everstone have the means and strategic intention to invest in the business and deliver added value to clients,” said Gurinder Singh, CEO of Excelity.

"As a former division of a large global firm, Excelity has built a reputation in providing exceptional payroll processing solutions to Asia-based corporates. Everstone will be investing capital and resources into Excelity's platform to enhance its service offering and maintain leadership in the payroll processing and the broader human resource management space," said Dhanpal Jhaveri, managing partner - PE, Everstone Group.

This marks another buyout deal by Everstone. In 2012 it had acquired Singapore-listed car and fine dining chain Harry's International.

Everstone Capital, co-founded by Sameer Sain and Atul Kapur, has been an active PE investor in the country.

Last November, it invested in customer interaction management solutions provider Servion Global Solutions Ltd, bought out the Indonesian franchisee of Domino's Pizza chain and backed fashion label Ritu Kumar besides buying a stake in the Madurai-based HR solutions firm Aparajitha. In the past it has also sealed unconventional deals like partnering Burger King to launch operations in India.

The latest deal also gives it a foothold with operations of a portfolio firm in China.

Aon Hewitt, a global HR solutions firm, is part of NYSE-listed advisory and consulting services firm Aon plc. Aon is into risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage and human resources services.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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