Cork’s SouthWestern sold for €35m

Capita plc (‘Capita’) has acquired SouthWestern Business Process Services Limited (‘SouthWestern’) from private equity group Ion Equity, for a consideration of €35m (£28m) on a cash free, debt free basis.

SouthWestern is the leading domestic provider of outsourced managed services in Ireland.

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SouthWestern delivers customer relationship management, financial shared services, data processing and inspectorate services to private and public sector organisations, from offices in Ireland, the UK and Poland. Its clients include the Department of Agriculture Food and Marine, Bord Gáis, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Bord Bia, Eircom and Failte Ireland.

SouthWestern is forecasting an operating profit of €3.4m on turnover of €33.6min its financial year to 31 December 2014. Following some integration and IT systems enhancement in 2015, Capita expects SouthWestern to generate an operating profit of around €7m on revenues of €47m in 2016.

Andy Parker, Capita chief executive, said: “Capita has an established presence in Ireland with more than 1,000 employees delivering services across the financial services and other sectors. This deal will significantly enhance Capita’s presence in the Irish business process outsourcing market, which is estimated to be worth €1bn and growing by 5 per cent each year.

“SouthWestern is a highly respected outsourcing company with an excellent private and public sector client base. It has particularly strong relationships with organisations in the agricultural sector, which is a growing and new market for Capita. The acquisition will provide Capita the opportunity to provide new services to SouthWestern’s existing clients and to continue to grow both its customer base, and job opportunities.”

Ion Equity chairman and outgoing SouthWestern chairman Neil O’Leary said: “Ion is proud to have led SouthWestern during a period of strong growth. It was an entrepreneurial business that employed 180 people when we acquired it but, through sustained hard work from a highly skilled workforce and an unwavering focus on delivering for its clients, it is now the number one in its key business areas, employing 1,000 people and growing strongly. While we are very happy with our involvement in SouthWestern, Capita is in a position to support greater success and accelerate job creation and we wish all stakeholders a very successful future.” 

SouthWestern employs around 1,000 employees, primarily based across three sites in County Cork, and one in Lodz, Poland, together with smaller operations in Dublin and Milton Keynes.