Everstone makes first US acquisition

Everstone Capital Partners will own 100 percent of Florida-headquartered C3, a customer relations management business, and plans to expand the company’s operations in India.

India-focused private equity firm Everstone Capital Partners is acquiring its first US-based company, customer relations management firm Customer Contact Channels (C3), for an undisclosed sum, the firm said in a statement.

C3 provides a range of multi-lingual customer contact management services around the world for businesses in a wide range of sectors, including healthcare, financial services, telecommunications, energy and utilities, and government services. The company has seven centres across the US, Guatemala, and the Philippines, with nearly 8,000 employees.

Everstone is buying C3 from Connecticut-based private equity firm Stone Point Capital, and will reportedly invest around $150 million in C3 through its Singapore affiliate Everise Services, alongside business process management company Sunrise Company, also based in Singapore.

C3 is Everstone’s first investment in the US; the firm typically invests between $10 million to $50 million in high growth Indian businesses in retail, healthcare, education, consumer, and financial services, according to PEI data.

“Our investment strategy has always been to invest in businesses which benefit from a strong nexus to India and South-East Asia – there‘s no change to that strategy,” Sanjoy Chatterjee, chief operating officer of Everstone Group told Private Equity International. “While we usually buy businesses within the region, we also sometimes buy companies outside the region which we believe we can scale, or use our target markets to benefit the business, such as moving backend services and manufacturing.

“We are excited to partner with Sunrise in the acquisition of this marquee business,” Sameer Sain, co-founder and managing partner of the Everstone Group said in a statement. “I look forward to leveraging our deep understanding of the sector and strong presence in India to further build C3’s global business.”

Everstone, based in Singapore, manages over $3.3 billion of assets across three funds.

In a statement, the firm said Everise plans to more than double the company’s nearly $200 million revenue in the next five years, as well as develop its expansion strategy.

Under the agreement, Sunrise BPO will lead the business operations, while Everstone will handle C3's India operations.

Sudhir Agarwal, founder of Sunrise BPO will become the new chief executive officer of C3, while Prateek Dhawan, managing director of private equity with Everstone Group will join the Everise board.

C3’s current president and chief operating officer Rick Ferry, along with the company’s leadership team will continue in their roles.

C3 is the firm’s third investment from its latest fund Everstone Capital Partners III, a 2014-vintage vehicle which raised $730 million last year, and its second investment in the information technology-enabled space, following its acquisition of Chennai-based customer engagement management firm Servion Global Solutions in 2014.

Earlier investments from the ECP III include Hindustan Unilever Ltd’s bakery business Modern Bakery and an unnamed pharmaceutical company.