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West Cork's SouthWestern sold for E35m

Thursday, August 14 15:01:35

West Cork-based SouthWestern has been bought from private equity group Ion Equity for E35m (Stg28m) on a cash free, debt free basis by UK group, Capita.

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

The Cork company employs around 1,000 across three sites in County Cork, one in Lodz, Poland and smaller operations in Dublin and Milton Keynes in England.

It 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 Gais, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Bord Bia, Eircom and Failte Ireland.

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 (BPO) market, which is estimated to be worth E1bn 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 CEO Jim Costello said: "This is a massive vote of confidence in our business by one of the strongest and most respected outsourcing companies in the world and will enhance SouthWestern's ability to achieve its full growth potential. SouthWestern has built up very strong relationships based on the core values of trust and reliability. These are values shared by Capita and we look forward to building on and developing current relationships and to developing new ones in the exciting times ahead."

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