PLDT gives up control of largest Filipino-owned BPO

The company is selling its stake in and giving up control control of the largest Filipino-owned outsourcing firm, SPi Global Holdings, to London-based CVC Capital Partners group

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) announced its plan to sell majority of its stake in and cede control of its business process outsourcing (BPO) unit to a company controlled by global private equity firm, CVC Capital Partners.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Tuesday, February 5, PLDT, still the country’s most valuable firm, said it entered into an agreement to sell SPi Global Holdings Inc. (SPi), the largest Filipino-owned BPO and among the world’s top 100, to Asia Outsourcing Gamma Limited by March 2013.

PLDT said it would use part of the sale proceeds to retain a 20% stake in Asia Outsourcing Gamma. Details of the deal, such as the acquisition price, were not disclosed.

PLDT chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said the transaction “represents an opportunity for us to realize attractive return for the benefit of the PLDT group and its stakeholders.”

“At the same time we are very happy to be a 20% partner with CVC in the business going forward as we remain very confident in the long-term prospects of SPi,” he added.

“We have an excellent team at SPi and a strong business model which I am confident will allow us to capitalize on the significant market opportunities available to us for the benefit of our customers, employees and stakeholders alike,” noted Maulik Parekh, SPi Presidet and CEO.

SPi is one of the world most diversified BPO service providers in terms of clients, geographic presence and capabilities

PLDT’s wholly owned unit, ePLDT, acquired 100% of SPi Technologies’ shares in July 2006. ePLDT combined SPi Technologies and call center unit ePLDT Ventus, Inc. into SPi Global Holdings, Inc. in June 2010. 

Interest in Asia

This deal is the second CVC has closed in Southeast Asia this 2013. It recently acquired Malaysia’s two main KFC fast food franchises for $1.7 billion.

Private equity firms, including Bain Capital and Carlyle Group, have been beefing up their stakes in Southeast Asia’s rapidly growing economies. 

In the Philippines, CVC has acquired 15% stake in Yuchengco-led Rizal Commercial Banking Corp for $115 million in 2011. It previously acquired industrial packaging maker Steniel Manufacturing Corp. – Rappler.com

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