TMT
By 09 November, 2009

ICICI Bank, Singapore's state investor Temasek Holdings and another large shareholder have revived plans to sell their stakes in back-office company Firstsource Solutions, in a deal valued at $285 million at the current market price, sources said. ICICI, Temasek's Aranda Investment and U.S.-based banking technology group Metavante own a combined 68 percent of Firstsource and have hired Citigroup to arrange the deal, the sources with direct knowledge of the deal said on Monday.

n

The sources declined to be named as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

The news pushed Firstsource shares to a session high of 37.35 rupees or 5.4 percent. By 0922 GMT, the shares were up 3 percent in a firm Mumbai market.

n

ICICI shares extended gains to over 5 percent on the news. ICICI declined to comment. Temasek officials in India could not be immediately reached.

n

A spokeswoman for Firstsource in an e-mailed reply said she did not want to comment on market speculation.

n

The three companies' joint holding in Firstsource is valued at about $220 million at current pricing, but a sale would also attract a public offer for a further 20 percent in the company to conform to Indian regulations.

n

The three companies tried to sell Firstsource last year in a deal valued at about $400 million, hiring Goldman Sachs, but potential buyers baulked at the price amid the global financial crisis.

n

"The sale process is just starting, we are preparing the ground. Target buyers would primarily be private equity investors and software services companies that have back-office units," a source said.

n

It was too early to name potential buyers, the sources said.

Leave Your Comment