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Infomedia India acquires UK publishing BPO company Keyword Group Ltd

20-December-2005
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Infomedia India acquires UK publishing BPO company Keyword Group Ltd

Yellow Pages and special interest magazine publishing major, Infomedia India Ltd, has announced its plans to acquire UK-based Keyword Group Ltd, a leading publishing BPO company and Cepha Imaging Systems, a Bangalore-based firm.

Infomedia will acquire 100 per cent stake from the promoters of Keyword Group. Keyword currently owns 49 per cent stake in Cepha Imaging Systems, a Bangalore-based firm. As part of the deal, Infomedia will acquire a further 21 per cent stake in Cepha from the local promoters, which will progressively be increased to 100 per cent in the next two years.

The deals, which are subject to necessary approvals, is estimated to be about $7 million.

Prakash Iyer, Managing Director, Infomedia India, said, “Keyword’s strong customer connect and Cepha’s track record of consistently delivering quality and exceeding customer expectations will help us consolidate our position in the booming $250 million publishing BPO market in India. We will now have a potent combination of a customer-facing front-end in Europe, and a world class facility in India.”

The publishing BPO business was clocking an annual growth of 30 per cent in India with profit margins, which varied between 30 per cent and 40 per cent, sources added.

Indian publishing BPO industry is currently focusing on the US and UK markets. India with several advantages like trained professionals, proficiency in English and favourable time zone is expected to emerge as one of the main outsourcing centres for the developed world.

“Our experience in the Yellow Pages business and our familiarity with printing and publishing have uniquely positioned us to partner international publishers and offer them the India cost advantage. The talent pool in India and our international footprint would enable us to scale up and emerge as a dominant player in the Indian publishing BPO space,” Iyer added.

Globally, the publishing industry has undergone a spate of mergers resulting in heavy consolidation and emergence of publishing giants like Reed Elsevier and others. These conglomerates are keen to outsource both low-end as well high-end publishing works to India.

“We expect this vertical to grow at a rapid pace in the coming years as there is a long list of satisfied clients from the US and UK. The trend would only increase in the coming years. They originally came for price – but they’ve stayed for quality,” said Iyer.

Infomedia recently inked a 51-49 joint venture with Reed Business, a member of the $9 billion Reed Elsevier group to bring some of its popular titles to India.

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