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SPi Global Buys Murugappa Group’s BPO Firm Laserwords

04 November, 2011

SPi Global, a Philippines-based outsourcing services provider, has acquired Chennai-based publishing BPO company Laserwords Private Limited, a part of $3 billion Murugappa Group. The company, in which group company Carborundum Universal holds 44 per cent stake, was sold at a valuation of Rs 114 crore, according to VCCircle estimates.

Carborundum Universal, in which private equity firm Nalanda Capital holds 9 per cent stake, informed the exchanges that it has sold its stake in Laserwords for Rs 50 crore. Carborundum Universal scrip last traded at Rs 157.25 a share, up by 1.42 per cent at BSE on Friday.

“Carborundum Universal Ltd has divested its entire shareholding in Laserwords Private Limited, the pre-press publishing entity for a consideration of Rs 50 crore. The transaction is in line with CUMI’s overall strategy to divest its non-core assets to fund its core businesses,” said the statement made to the exchanges.

Carborundum is involved in the business of manufacturing abrasives, ceramics including industrial ceramics & refractories besides electro minerals.

According to a June report by brokerage Sushil Finance, Carborundum held a 44 per cent stake in Laserwords. This translates into an equity valuation of Rs 114 crore for Laserwords, which was acquired by the Murugappa Group in 2006. The group has a presence in engineering, abrasives, finance, general insurance, fertilizers, farm inputs, sugar, bio-products, nutraceuticals, cycles, and plantations.

Another recent deal in this space was when Repro India Ltd, a Mumbai-based firm which is into printing and digitising educational content, acquired the Chennai-based printing operations of Macmillan Publishers India Ltd (MPIL), a subsidiary of the leading UK-based publisher.

SPi Global has been in the content solutions business for more than 30 years. It has facilities in Chennai, and Pondicherry in India focusing on Scientific, Technical and Medical (STM) publishing.

Laserwords was founded in 1983 and its clients include McGraw Hill, National Geographic, Kaplan, Oxford University Press, Pearson, Thomson Reuters, among others. Laserwords has production facilities spread over India and the United States and provides a range of solutions that include production, editorial, multimedia, conversion and technology.

“This strategic acquisition will complement SPi Global’ s strong presence in the Scientific, Technical, Medical and Legal verticals with Laserwords’ established foothold in the Education sector,” said SPi Global President and CEO Maulik Parekh. 

Besides its content solutions business, SPi Global, with its 15,000 employees in 24 locations worldwide, also offers customer relationship management (CRM) and healthcare solutions.

While Enam was the exclusive advisor to Murugappa Group, Avendus Capital advised SPi Global for this transaction.

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SPi Global Buys Murugappa Group’s BPO Firm Laserwords

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