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Aditya Birla group buys Canadian BPO firm

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Pact signed for Rs 575-cr acquisition; process to be completed by Aug

MR KUMAR MANGALAM BIRLA, Chairman, Aditya Birla Group, and Mr Atul Kunwar, CEO, TransWorks, addressing a press conference in Mumbai on Saturday. - Shashi Ashiwal

Mumbai , June 24

The Aditya Birla Group is acquiring a Canada-based BPO company for $125 million (Rs 575 crore at Rs 46 a dollar).

TransWorks, a BPO provider and a subsidiary of Aditya Birla Nuvo, will buy the Toronto Stock Exchange listed company.

The Group on Saturday announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Minacs Worldwide Inc to offer C$5.50 per share in cash.

TransWorks will acquire Minacs' promoters' stake of 46.4 per cent. It will also make an open offer to the shareholders of Minacs to acquire the remaining stake, Mr Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman, Aditya Birla Group, said at a news conference on Saturday.

The entire process is expected to be completed by August.

ReichmannHauer Capital Partners intends to co-invest with TransWorks. "We would be comfortable offering them up to a 10 per cent stake,'' Mr Birla said. The fund requirement of this acquisition would be a combination of debt and internal accruals from Aditya Birla Nuvo and TransWorks.

The combined business of the two companies would have a revenue base of $300 million. "We want to be a dominant player in every field. This acquisition will be a quantum jump for TransWorks. It gives us size and dominance,'' he said.

Minacs provides customised BPO solutions on three core areas of capability — contact centre solutions, integrated marketing services and back office administration. Its strengths are in automotive, technology, telecom and financial services. The automotive segment accounts for 68.5 per cent share of Minacs business; technology and telecom 22 per cent, financial services 6 per cent and general business 3.5 per cent.

"TransWorks is not present in the automotive segment. It gets an entry into this area through this deal,'' he said.

In 2005, Minacs reported revenues of C$290.5 million. It has 6,000 employees across Canada, the US, the UK, Germany and Hungary.

Post-acquisition, Minacs would be merged into TransWorks, Mr Birla said.

The combined entity of Minacs and TransWorks would position it as a top 10 BPO provider in North America.

TransWorks also gets exposure to Minacs' customer relationships in North America.

TransWorks hopes to achieve a seamless transition for customers as well as employees of Minacs, said Mr Atul Kunwar, CEO, TransWorks.

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