Bain sells just under half stake in Japanese telesales giant Bellsystem24


phoneInternational private equity giant Bain Capital has agreed to sell a 49.9 per cent stake in its investment in telemarketing company Bellsystem24 Holdings to Japanese trading company Itochu Corporation.

The deal will leave Bain with 50.1 per cent of the shareholding and is due to take place as part of a new joint venture company to be established by Itochu and Bain.

The private equity firm first bought Bellsystem for JPY93.5bn ($1bn) in 2009 from private equity fund Citigroup Capital Partners Japan, beating off competition from rivals Permira, Blackstone and KKR.

The transaction saw Bain take on a 93.5 per cent stake in Bellsystem24.

The firm went on to complete a $1.1bn recapitalisation of the telemarketing giant in 2011.

Bain MD David Gross-Loh said, “Since Bain Capital acquired Bell system in 2009, our investment in the company’s advanced IT infrastructure, and implementation of significant operating improvements, have transformed the business into a world-class operation.

“The continued improvements in service quality and productivity have enabled Bellsystem to strengthen its leading industry position.”

Bellsystem24 is Japan’s largest call centre operations service provider, with approximately 20,000 operators in 22 locations.

Itochu hopes to position Bellsystem24 as one of its core businesses, and said it plans to enhance the quality and efficiency of customer liaison and communications with its consumers as a result of the purchase.

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