French CRM solutions firm Webhelp acquires Hero Group’s UK subsidiary HEROtsc

HEROtsc, a UK-based contact centre company owned and managed by the Indian two-wheeler maker Hero Group, has been acquired by Paris-headquartered customer relationship management firm Webhelp Group for an undisclosed sum.

The deal marks an end to the company’s ownership by the Indian group, which bought Scotland’s largest call centre company, Telecom Service Centres (TSC), in 2007 for £40 million. The Hero Group has now divested its ownership to focus on its existing core manufacturing businesses.

HEROtsc, which will be renamed Webhelp TSC following the acquisition, gives the Webhelp Group a major presence in the UK for the first time and the capability to provide English-language customer management to its international client base.

The combined entity will be one of the largest independently owned customer experience organisations in the world, with revenues in excess of £350 million and 16,500 employees globally. It will retain its operational headquarters in Falkirk, Scotland, as well as the existing management team led by CEO David Turner.

“During its time with Hero Group, HEROtsc’s sales and margins improved significantly and the number of employees trebled despite economic slowdown. We have been committed to growing the business in the UK and are delighted to leave the company in a stronger, more sustainable position for its future,” said HEROtsc chairman Sunil Kant Munjal.

Over the past five years, HEROtsc doubled its UK revenues to £82 million and grown its staff numbers from 2,000 to 6,000. It has customer contact centres at Dearne Valley, Derby, Dunoon, Falkirk, Glasgow, Greenock, Kilmarnock, Rothesay and Warrington.

Mumbai-based financial services firm Avendus Capital acted as the financial advisor to the shareholders and management of HEROtsc. Avendus provides customised solutions in financial advisory, equity capital markets, alternative asset management and wealth management.

According to Gaurav Deepak, MD and head of investment banking at Avendus, the acquisition reflects the global trend of consolidation in IT services and BPO outsourcing industry.

Webhelp operates 24 contact centres in continental Europe & North Africa, has annual revenues of €220 million and employs 10,500 people. It is backed by London and Paris-based Charterhouse Capital Partners, which acquired a majority stake in the business in 2011.

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)

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