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ePLDT to buy 100% of SPI Tech
[May 26, 2006]

ePLDT to buy 100% of SPI Tech

(Philippine Daily Inquirer Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)PHILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE Co. (PLDT) added another company to its growing service portfolio by acquiring one of the biggest business process outsourcing firm in the world.

In a statement, the countrys largest telecommunications firm said it had authorized its information and communications technology arm, ePLDT Inc., to acquire 100 percent of the SPI group of companies.

SPI is the second largest pure-play business process outsourcing (BPO) company and the ninth biggest independent BPO service provider in the world.

On May 24, SPI Tech L.P., the parent company of SPI, formally accepted the letter of interest submitted by ePLDT for the acquisition of 100 percent of SPI, the company said.

No price has yet been set for the transaction. PLDT said it would use internally generated cash to fund ePLDTs acquisition of SPI.

The seller has granted an exclusivity period within which to conduct due diligence on SPI and complete the transaction, PLDT said.

ePLDT has engaged investment banking firm Credit Suisse as its independent financial adviser for the transaction.

The acquisition of SPI, together with its existing Ventus call center group, will help solidify ePLDTs position as one of the major full-service BPO companies in the industry, the company said.

[It will] enable ePLDT to benefit greatly from the forecast growth in the BPO sector, the company added.

The addition of SPI into ePLDT will broaden our participation in the promising BPO sector, which industry analysts forecast to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 9.2 percent [over] the next four years, PLDT president Napoleon L. Nazareno said. As the Philippines continues to gain recognition as a preferred location for BPO services, the PLDT group remains in the forefront as a partner in further developing this market in the years ahead.

SPI operates in 23 locations spanning North America, Europe and Asia, servicing more than 150 customers including many Fortune 500 companies. With over 6,500 employees worldwide, SPI services these customers onsite, and from facilities in the Philippines, India, US, China and Vietnam.

SPIs main business lines include content editorial and production, litigation support coding and electronic data discovery, medical transcription, database structuring and management and transaction processing.

On the other hand, ePLDTs Ventus call center group consists of Parlance Systems Inc., Vocativ Systems Inc. and ePLDT Ventus Inc. The ePLDT Ventus group operates six call center facilities located in Makati, Taguig, Pasig, Mandaluyong, Quezon City and Iloilo, rendering primarily voice-based services to US-based clients and outsourcers.

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