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HeroITES in buyout talks in US and UK

Deal size could be around $50-100 million.

HeroITES, BPO arm of the Hero group, is eyeing three US- and UK-based call centre companies for acquiring one of them. At present, talks are on and Hero expects to complete the acquisition process in the third quarter of the current financial year.

Ralph Bonaduce, executive vice-president, HeroITES, said, "The company is seeking inorganic growth through acquisitions and diversification. We are in talks with three UK- and US-based companies and would acquire one of them in three to five months."   While Bonaduce did not divulge the names of the target companies, he said the acquisition could be in the range of $50-100 million.   HeroITES has a 250-seat call centre at Gurgaon, which the company plans to expand gradually to 650 seats. President Rohit Chanana said, "The company currently employs over 1,000 people and will raise its headcount to 8,000 by 2009. In the near future, we will also open three more call centres in India and seven call centres in the US, the UK, Australia and Canada."

If the acquisition plans fructify, HeroITES will join the ranks of Wipro Ltd, which had purchased Okemos, a mechanical engineering and design firm, and Quantech Global Services.   The Essar group of India, along with Deutsche Bank AG of London, acquired 80 per cent stake in the Aegis Communications group employing approximately 4,300 people at an investment of $28 million.   Accenture acquired Savista, a privately held company, which, with 400 employees, serves medium-sized companies with a focus on the restaurant and hospitality industries.   Depending on the growth of HeroITES over the next three years, a decision to go public will also be taken by the company management.   The company is also moving towards knowledge process outsourcing including areas like medical and legal consulting, intellectual property, patent research, research and development, and analytical services.

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