Contracts/Deals: Capita buys Ventura

Provider of BPO and integrated professional support service solutions, The Capita Group, has bought Ventura, a customer contact specialist for £65m on a cash-free, debt-free basis.

Ventura, the trading name of Club 24, is the third-party customer services management arm of clothing retailer Next and manages more than 50m customer contacts each year for a range of additional private and public sector clients.

Ventura’s private sector clients include leading telecoms, utilities and retail companies, such as O2, Orange, British Gas and BMI.

Ventura made a pro-forma operating profit for its financial year to 31 January 2011 of £8m on turnover of £156m.

According to a company statement, the acquisition will increase Capita’s capacity for customer management services, providing additional front office services and flexible capacity for existing clients, as well as giving Ventura’s client base access to Capita’s wider service offering.

Paul Pindar, chief executive of The Capita Group, says: “The acquisition of Ventura is a good strategic fit with our existing integrated outsourcing services. Ventura’s flexible service model complements our established customer contact operations, which are integral to many of our long-term contracts and businesses.

“It also provides Capita with opportunities to offer wider customer management and back office outsourced services to key, blue chip clients across additional industry sectors.”

Ian Cherry, managing director, Ventura, adds: “This is a great way to take the business forward; this news will strengthen our service to clients and business prospects. We are very excited about the future.”

Ventura has around 8,000 employees, mainly in Yorkshire, Cardiff, Milton Keynes and Pune, India, who will transfer to Capita.

According to Mark Kingston, M&A executive at M&A advisory house, Boxington Corporate Finance, “the deal is in-line with Capita’s broad strategy in the UK BPO market, which is complemented by buying niche, external services providers like Team24, their recent deal in the recruitment space”.

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