Telus Sells 35% Stake in Outsourcing Subsidiary to Baring Private Equity Asia

The Canadian telco will use the funds from the sale to to roll out new fiber-optic cables and invest in next-generation wireless technologies.

Canadian telco Telus has sold a 35% stake in its outsourcing subsidiary Telus International to Asian investor Baring Private Equity Asia, according to a Telus International press release.

The sale adds US$600 million to Telus’s coffers, which the company will use to roll out new fiber-optic cables and invest in next-generation wireless technologies. The Vancouver-based company stated that it would retain the remaining 65%, valued at around US$1 billion, as a long-term majority ownership.

Telus International has employed more than 6,000 people in Central America spanning three sites in Guatemala and one site in El Salvador. Analysts say the deal is unlikely to have any impact on its outsourcing business, which began with IT consulting, before taking a different turn in 2005 when the firm invested in contact centers in the Philippines.

Today, more than 22,000 people work at Telus International’s delivery centers across the world, with reports saying that 25% of the workforce supports Telus customers. The BPO service they provide includes customer care, technical support, sales support, and credit and collections. Clients include corporations in the financial services, consumer electronics and gaming, telecommunications, energy and utilities industries.

According to a report by Everest Group, call center providers now want more than just a lower cost of doing business; they want to partner with vendors that can bring improved results to the table. As a result, providers such as Telus International are prioritizing the incorporation of emerging technologies, automation and big data analytics.

“Call center outsourcing buyers now expect their incumbent providers to go ‘beyond the obvious’ of the service-level agreement, especially after the first few years of the relationship,” Jeffrey Puritt, President of Telus International, said in an interview with CIO magazine. “Contracts are not renewed because these relationships have failed to deliver meaningful, long-term value.”

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June 7th, 2016, DISCLAIMER: The original article published May 6th 2016 stated that Telus International made the deal “amidst growing suspicion that its call centers are struggling to turn a profit“. This statement has been removed due to its inaccuracy.

Additionally, the original piece implied that this “struggle” was largely due to new technologies like automation. The amended paragraph now reads: According to a report by Everest Group, call center providers now want more than just a lower cost of doing business; they want to partner with vendors that can bring improved results to the table. As a result, providers such as Telus International are prioritizing the incorporation of emerging technologies, automation and big data analytics.

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