Providence in $290m deal for Asian call centre business

Providence's new deal expands the firm's investments in Asia to more than $1bn.

Providence Equity Partners, a buyout firm, is teaming up with Philippines-based Ayala Corporation to buy call centre outsourcing business eTelecare Global Solutions for $290 million (€202 million), a deal that will increase Providence's investments in Asia to more than $1 billion.

The group will buy up all eTelecare’s common shares outstanding, and all the company’s outstanding American Depository shares, for $9 per share, a 76 percent premium over the company’s closing price on the Nasdaq of $5.10 on 18 September.

“This transaction underscores Providence’s strategy, particularly in Asia, of partnering with local entrepreneurs and industry leaders as part of its investments,” Julie Richardson, a managing director and acting head of the firm’s Asia-Pacific operations, said in a statement.

Providence’s growing presence in Asia was underscored this week when the firm hired Sean Tong as a managing director in its Hong Kong office. Tong joined Providence from private equity firm General Atlantic.

Providence’s investments in Asia include the acquisition of a 15 percent stake in Indian wireless operator Idea Cellular, reportedly for $400 million, and a $640 million investment for a 20 percent state in its subsidiary Aditya Birla Telecom.

The firm manages assets of about $22 billion and focuses on media, entertainment, communications and information companies. Providence has invested in more than 100 companies since its founding in 1989.