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Is GE's BPO firm going to Oak Hill?

November 04, 2004 10:13 IST

Oak Hill Capital Partners, a $1.6-billion private equity firm, is believed to be emerging the front runner for General Electric Company's outsourcing operations in the country, known as GE Capital Services.

Sources indicated that a consortium of investors was likely to buy GE Capital Services and that Oak Hill Capital Partners was one of the investors.

Outsourcing and India: Complete Coverage

GE executives, however, declined to comment on the matter. "We do not wish to comment on market speculation," GE spokesperson David Jenson said over the phone from the US.

An e-mail sent to Steven Gruber, managing partner of Oak Hill Capital Partners, on Tuesday did not elicit any response.

Sources close to the development said Oak Hill Capital Partners was close to picking up a stake in GE Capital Services and the deal was likely to be sealed over the next fortnight.

GE Capital Services is the leader in offshoring services to India. Set up in 1997, the company employs over 12,000 people in eight sites in India in four cities. It has five centres -- one each at Gurgaon, Bangalore and Jaipur -- and two in Hyderabad.

The Jaipur site was the last to come up. The company has been planning to set up another centre in Kolkata, for which due diligence has been completed.

GE Capital Services is regarded a very versatile business process outsourcing outfit.  It has centres of excellence in finance and accounting, insurance, collections, customer fulfillment, commercial finance, industrial and equipment, analytics, learning, IT services and software. These centres handle more than 450 processes for 30 different business units in the US, Europe, Japan and Australia.

GE initially wanted to increase its focus on core areas by selling a part of its operations and the company had invited bids from interested buyers, industry observers said and added that General Atlantic was believed to be one of the bidders.

Oak Hill Capital Partners, along with Financial Technology Ventures and the management of EXL Service, had bought EXL Service Inc from Conseco for an undisclosed amount.

Gruber serves as the non-executive chairman of EXL Service.  Oak Hill Capital makes significant investments through acquisitions, build-ups, recapitalisations, restructurings, strategic joint ventures and the purchase of minority stakes across a wide range of industries.

Oak Hill Capital Partners is part of the Oak Hill Platforms, a series of alternative asset management partnerships managing capital worth more than $8 billion.
Kavita Nair in Mumbai