HTMT gets controlling interest in Manila's 930-seat call centre unit

CALIFORNIA: Hinduja TMT (HTMT) Ltd has acquired acquisition of controlling interest and management of the 930-seat call centre unit, Customer Contact Centre (c3), in Manila, Philippines.

In a meeting held yesterday, HTMT's Board of Directors (BoDs) maintained that the acquisition is subject to requisite statutory approvals, a company release states.

c3 is reportedly one of the major profit making offshore call centers in Philippines. Media reports had earlier stated that c3's holding company, Benpres Holding Corporation, (BHC) Manila, had invested 100 million pesos in the company when it started in 2001.

It was also reported earlier that Universal Vision Corporation (UVC) - with whom HTMT has strategic alliance for marketing offshore call center business from USA - had in July 2003 acquired 100 per cent ownership in c3 from Benpres.

Now, UVC has provided HTMT an option to acquire up to 51 per cent of its stake in Holdco - an overseas offshore holding company which held 20 per cent stake of the call centre unit. This is subject to HTMT entering into suitable shareholders agreement with the other shareholders, the release states.

By exercising the option, HTMT would be able to acquire majority controlling interest and management control on c3. c3 will become a subsidiary of HTMT and its financial results would be consolidated with those of HTMT.

c3 is located in Eastwood, an export promotion zone in Manila, and is operating approximately 500 call center seats. c3 holds 42.5 per cent stake in SOCA, a joint venture company formed with Source One, USA, for servicing US clients procured by the JV partner.

The release states that, HTMT will substantially benefit from the acquisition as it would be one of the first ITES companies in India to offer its international clients alternative location outside India, for servicing their requirements. The acquisition would also enable HTMT to widen its domain expertise in other areas like banking, credit card services, consumer electronics and media and entertainment.

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