Scandent to buy US firm for $100 million

By SiliconIndia   |   Monday, 27 September 2004, 07:00 Hrs
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MUMBAI: The Singapore-based Scandent group , founded by ex-McKinsey boss Rajat Gupta and Ramesh Vangal, former head honcho at Seagram India, is in talks to buy a majority stake in a US company, in a deal that could establish its presence in the global BPO industry in a dramatic way, sources said.

Scandent, which now has a fledgling BPO outfit called ProcessMind, is expected to pay over $100m for a majority stake in Cambridge Integrated Services, a subsidiary of the NYSE-listed Aon Corporation.

Aon specialises in insurance brokerage and provides risk-management and human resources consulting. Cambridge, wholly-owned by Aon, carries out claims processing for Aon and a number of US companies.

The deal is likely to be one of the largest-ever in the BPO sector by a company with strong Indian links and follows Scandent’s acquisitions of Chennai-based SSI’s IT services business last year.

Satyen Patel, Scandent’s vice chairman and head of mergers & acquisitions did not wish to comment.

The Chicago, Illinois-based Aon, on August 4 this year, had announced that it had reached an in-principle agreement to sell a majority stake in Cambridge. It did not reveal the buyer.

Apart from Scandent, one more bidder is in the race, industry sources said, but added that the Singapore-based company’s talks with Aon have reached a fairly advanced stage. A deal is likely within the next fortnight, they added.

The deal is being structured to allow Aon to continue holding a small stake in the company and assuring business after the acquisition.

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