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TH Lee, Quadrangle in $4.1bn call-centre deal

The two firms have led an investor group in an agreement to recapitalise publicly traded outsourced services provider West Corporation.

An investor group led by Boston-based Thomas H. Lee Partners and New York-based Quadrangle group has agreed to recapitalise outsourcing provider West Corporation in a transaction valued at approximately $4.1 billion including debt.

West Corporation was founded in 1986 as an inbound telemarketing service bureau and is headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska. Today the company operates call centres around the world and has 29,000 employees based in North America, Europe and Asia. The call centres fulfill both telemarketing and customer service functions. The company also provides interactive voice response (IVG) technology which allows for automated customer service.

Under the terms of the agreement, all stockholders except Gary and Mary West, the founders of the company and chairman and vice chairman of the board, will receive $48.75 per share in cash, a 13 percent premium over West’s closing stock price yesterday.

Per an agreement with shareholders, Gary and Mary West, who own approximately 56 percent of the outstanding shares of the company’s common stock, will sell 85 percent of that for $42.83 per share in cash and will convert 15 percent into shares of the corporation surviving the merger.

Quadrangle just recently held a final close on the firm’s second private equity fund, the $1.8 billion Quadrangle Capital Partners II. The firm had initially been seeking $1.6 billion. TH Lee recently