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Fairfax-controlled Quess Corp to raise stake in Terrier Security Services
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Fairfax-controlled business service provider Quess Corp Ltd’s board has approved to raise its stake in manned guarding and security solutions firm Terrier Security Services (India) Pvt. Ltd (TSSIPL) to 74% from 49%.

The Bengaluru-based company said in a stock-exchange filing it will acquire 1.25 lakh equity shares of TSSIPL for Rs 64.5 crore (approximately $8.54 million at current exchange rates). 

The stake increase will provide Quess with increased control over TSSIPL’s operations and will help the company complete its integrated facility management solutions, it said.

TSSIPL was set up in 1989 and operates in over 14 states in the country. In October 2016, Quess Corp announced that it would pick up a 49% stake in TSSIPL for Rs 72 crore ($10.8 million).

The manned and security solutions firm has posted turnover figures of Rs 330.95 crore, Rs 430.73 crore and Rs 511.43 crore for the last three financial years, including 2019-20.

In a statement on its financial earnings for the 2020 financial year, Quess Corp said TSSIPL had displayed “continued rapid growth with healthy customer acquisition and focus on integrated man tech solutions with a common digital platform”.

Quess Corp’s initial stake acquisition in TSSIPL was part of its ‘string of pearls’ acquisition strategy. In an interaction with VCCircle, the company chairman and managing director had said the tactic had worked well for Quess Corp because it is easier to integrate and grow acquisition targets through that method.

Shares of Quess Corp hit their 5% upper circuit band on Friday, with the company seeing its share price rise by Rs 10.55 to Rs 221.55 apiece. According to BSE data, the Prem Watsa-founded Fairfax Financial Holdings is the single-largest shareholder in the company, with a stake of slightly above 32%.

Quess was founded by Ajit Abraham Isaac and was acquired by the travel company Thomas Cook in 2013. Thomas Cook itself was acquired in 2012 by Fairfax. In October last year, Quess Corp appointed former McKinsey & Company employee Suraj Moraje as an executive director and group chief executive officer-designate.

Quess has also made acquisitions to add to its existing portfolio. For instance, in January 2018, it acquired jobs portal Monster.com's India, Southeast and West Asia units and HCL Infosystems Ltd after-sales services business for consumer electronics and mobile phones.

Then, in July in the same year, it received board approval to acquire the remaining 36% stake in Singapore-based staffing firm Comtel Solutions Pte. Ltd for $16.3 million (Rs 111 crore). It had originally acquired a 64% stake in Comtel Solutions for about $20 million in cash.

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