• Partners Group to acquire PLDT’s SPi Global for $330M

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    A SWITZERLAND-based private markets investment manager is acquiring Pangilinan-led business process outsourcing (BPO) company SPi Global for $330 million, PLDT Inc. said in a statement on Monday.

    The company is being acquired from CVC Capital Partners Asia III and PLDT Global Investments Corp., an
    indirect subsidiary of PLDT Inc.

    PLDT, through PGIC, has an 18.32 percent economic interest with SPi Global.

    Following the acquisition, Partners Group will work with SPi’s management team, led by its chief executive officer Ratan Datta, on a number of value creation initiatives to expand the company both organically and through select acquisitions.

    “We are very happy to welcome Partners Group as our new business partner and look forward to working with the firm to further complement our global footprint as well as client service capabilities,” Datta said.

    Senior executives from the Partners Group will join the Board of Directors at SPi—Private Equity Directs Asia Managing Director Cyrus Driver and Senior Vice President Florian Marquis; Industry Value Creation Managing Director Christian Unger, and Florian Marquis.

    “SPi has become a strategic vendor to the largest global publishers,” Driver noted. “As the publishing world transforms and expands at a rapid pace, SPi has a very exciting opportunity to support its customers with an enhanced range of services and leading edge technology solutions,” he said.

    In 2013, PLDT sold its BPO businesses owned by its then wholly owned subsidiary SPi Global Holdings, Inc. to Asia Outsourcing Gamma Ltd. (AOGL), a company controlled by CVC.

    PLDT then reinvested approximately $40 million from the sale proceeds in the said business.

    AOGL subsequently divested its healthcare BPO and customer relationship management businesses in 2014 and 2016, returning $53 million in proceeds to PLDT.

    Completion of this acquisition by Partners Group will be subject to certain closing conditions.

    Analyst Marita Limlingan, president of Regina Capital Corp. said PLDT’s divestment of SPi Global will not have a huge impact on its operations.

    “I don’t think [so]. I think PLDT really needs the money to improve its operations,” she said.

    In an earlier report, PLDT said its core net income dropped 26 percent year-on-year in the first quarter to P5.3 billion due to lower wireless revenues. Consolidated service revenues in the first three months also declined 7 percent to P35.6 billion.

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