London investment major acquires 25% of Nairobi IT firm
ISON founder and chairman Ramesh Awtaney at the Hilton Hotel in Nairobi on September 12, 2013. (Source: businessdailyafrica.com)
Satya Capital, a London-based investment firm launched by billionaire entrepreneur Mo Ibrahim, bought into Spanco BPO Africa, a continental information technology firm with headquarters in Nairobi, on September 13. The deal was valued at between $20 million (Sh1.75 billion) and $30 million (Sh2.63 billion).
The Africa-focused investment firm acquired 25 percent stake in ISON Growth Markets, the holding company of Spanco BPO Africa, from Spanco India. With Spanco India exiting the ownership of ISON Growth Markets, Spanco BPO has now been rebranded ISON BPO.
The acquisition values ISON Growth Markets at between $80 million (Sh7 billion) and $120 million (Sh10.5 billion). ISON’s head office at Nairobi employs 250 staff out of 4,000 employees spread in Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Madagascar.
The acquisition will help grow the firm’s operations across Africa, which includes offering more technology, versus voice-based services.
ISON founder and chairman Ramesh Awtaney assured that no changes in management would take place. He added that the firm’s growth has been largely driven by the increase in internet access in a continent that is under-served by poor infrastructure network.
However, the IT firm is already taking advantage of the widespread mobile phone based internet access in Africa. It is planning to build an IT infrastructure that will allow shoppers to buy goods either through their smartphones or by phoning a call center and has already signed an online shopping deal with Nakumatt, the largest retailer in the region.
Mo Ibrahim, who is the force behind Satya Capital, also founded communications firm Celtel. The firm, at some point, owned Kenya’s second largest mobile telecommunications firm, now called Airtel. The company has a target of growing its Africa workforce to 40,000 within the next four years.
Satya Capital is an independent investment firm, focussed on Africa. Through the Satya Capital Africa Fund, it invests in growing businesses across the continent.
The investment firm provides primarily growth and expansion capital, and target investments of between $20m and $50m in the Satya Capital Africa Fund.
The Satya team has a rich mix of financial, strategic and investment experience. They also have valuable direct operating experience, most notably the establishment and growth of communications firm Celtel.
ISON Growth Markets
ISON is a leading pan-African IT and BPO services company with presence in 21 countries in Africa and employee strength of 6400+ employees.
ISON capitalizes on the strength of its core expertise and capabilities to service Telecom Service Providers, Financial Services, Government, Retail and Tower Infrastructure Providers sectors. They leverage their deep domain and delivery expertise, methodologies and frameworks, partnerships and technology alliances to provide turnkey Services – Design, Build and Manage. Their robust BPO services infrastructure is built on global delivery platform to deliver Voice, Non-Voice and KPO services.
Source: Company Website
Spanco BPO Services Ltd.
Spanco BPO was founded in 2007 and is based in Gurgaon, India. Spanco BPO Services, Ltd. operates as a subsidiary of SPANCO Telesystems and Solutions, Ltd.
Spanco BPO Services Ltd. provides business process outsourcing (BPO) solutions in India. It specializes in the BFSI (Banking, Financial services and Insurance) segment.
The company has operations in the international BPO market in the United Kingdom, the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and the APAC Region.