NYSE-listed WNS (Holdings), the second largest business process outsourcing firm in India, has just become bigger. The Mumbai-based BPO, which is 51-per cent controlled by Warburg Pincus, has acquired Aviva Global Services, the UK-based insurance giant’s captive BPO in India and Sri Lanka, for $230 million, The Economic Times has reported. The deal is one of the largest buyouts of a foreign captive BPO in India.

WNS has pipped Aviva’s other vendors, EXL Services and 24/7 Customer, and global giant like Capgemini to acquire the captive BPO. The company is funding the acquisition with $200 million in credit from ICICI Bank and $30 million in equity contribution from Warburg Pincus. Aviva BPO has operations in Bangalore, Pune, Noida, Chennai and Colombo.

Through this deal WNS has also secured Aviva’s $1 billion outsourced work over the next eight years. But part of this will be subcontracted to EXL and 24/7 Customer. Aviva’s BPO operations are run by Aviva Global Services on a built-operate-transfer (BOT) basis. The insurance giant had split its operations among three vendors initially - EXL Services, WNS and 24/7 Customer.

With plans to take over its own operations, in 2007, AGS took over the 1,600 employees working with 24/7 Customer and 300 who were working with WNS. But later it decided to sell its offshore operations. The report also added that 24/7 Customer has announced the transfer of 750 employees from its Aviva 24/7 centre in Chennai to Aviva Global Services as part of its BOT contract.

WNS has been aggressively pursuing inorganic growth oppurtunities. Interestingly, is also reportedly in the race for acquiring ICICI Bank’s stake in India leading listed BPO Firstsource Solutions. Recently it has also acquired UK-based auto insurance claims BPO Call 24/7 Ltd. for $16 million.

Last year, the company had acquired Bangalore-based analytics services company Marketics Technologies (MarketRx) for up to $65 million in cash. WNS had also acquired travel services provider PRG Airline services and Banglore-based information technology systems supplier FLOvate Technologies.

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