Greater Pacific Capital (GPC), a London-based private equity firm, has acquired 38 per cent stake in Ahmadabad-based outsourcing firm Azure Knowledge Corporation Pvt Ltd for $32.5 million. GPC will pick up 26.4 per cent stake for $11.8 million in the first phase of the deal. The stake has been picked up at a price of Rs 576 per share, reports Business Standard. The balance will be invested by 2010 depending on the performance of Azure.
The company is a third party KPO specialising in financial services and knowledge-based customer interaction services. Azure plans to deploy $15 million of the funds raised for acquisitions and has already initiated talks with several domestic and overseas players. Azure had picked up 49 per cent stake in US based Citizens Financial Mortgage, Inc. in April 2008. Azure had a revenue orf $8 million in FY08 and is targeting a revenue of $14 million in the upcoming fiscal year.
Azure Knowledge Corporation was formed in 1991 by Dushyant Joshi and Jay Ruparel, who will continue to hold majority stake in the company post the deal. It has over 2,200 employees based out of its centers in Ahmedabad, Pune, Guangzhou and Philadelphia. “We have been growing at more than 200% over the last two years and to sustain this growth rate and help us with our inorganic growth plans, we were looking for capital infusion from an investor that would add strategic and intellectual value along with financial investment,” said Dushyant Joshi, the founder and CEO of Azure in a release. Joe Sealy, Co-Founder-Promoter of GPC and along with Pradeep Udhas, Managing Director GPC, India, will join the board of Azure.
Greater Pacific Capital, a fund set up by former Goldman Sachs bankers, aims to capture the opportunity of high growth in the Indian and Chinese economies. The firm has $1 billion that it has raised through two funds. The fund already has two investments in India - a 14.9 per cent stake in software company Mascon which it bought in March for $27 million, and a 20 per cent stake in broking firm Edelweiss Capital.