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PanJam, Portland Equity Acquire 30% of itel

November 17, 2019
The Gleaner | November 17, 2019
  PanJam Investment Limited and Portland Private, Equity will be taking a combined 30 per cent stake – 15 per cent each – Yoni Epstein’s company, Outsourcing Management Limited, which trades as itelBPO. The transaction will be facilitated through the issuance of new shares. The cost of the transaction and timeline for closing the deal were not disclosed. Epstein, the founding chairman and CEO of itelBPO, says he and partner Mark Hart own the other 70 per cent of the business process outsourcing, BPO, firm through their respective companies, Portland Investments and North Star Investments, but the size of their individual holdings was not disclosed. The company will put the funds received from the sale towards its expansion across the region. “We expect our medium-term growth to come from continued expansion in Kingston, Jamaica, and the Eastern Caribbean and supply of new clients in some of the similar lines of businesses we’re servicing today,” Epstein told the Financial Gleaner on Friday. itelBPO is also looking to secure market share in higher value ­services such as digital ­marketing, email campaigns and online chat, initiatives to be financed from PanJam and Portland’s investment. “In terms of acquisitions, we are actively looking for target companies and will notify the public once we ­identify them,” he said. Incorporated in 2012, the Montego Bay-based operation started out with a team of seven. Today, itelBPO claims to the ­largest home-grown outsourcer in the region, with operations in Jamaica, the Bahamas, Mexico and the United States. itelBPO currently offers voice and digital contact ­centre services, as well as customer experience management using both at-home and on-site workforces comprised of over 2,700 team members. Over the next five years, Epstein expects to add 5,000 new seats through expansion and acquisition. The CEO stated his intent to evaluate all funding options, including an initial public offering as he continues to track growth opportunities for the business. PanJam’s and Portland investment in itelBPO is expected to maintain the companies drive for a diversified portfolio of assets. Senior Vice President of New Business Development and Strategy at PanJam, Joanna Banks, ­confirmed the itelBPO transaction as the conglomerate’s first ­investment in the BPO industry. “itelBPO’s plans for both organic and inorganic growth will create long-term value for all investors. Expansion into the Eastern Caribbean and the development of new, value-accretive business lines including digital marketing, email campaigns and online chats bode well for both itelBPO and its new investors,” Banks said via email. Portland Equity, which is controlled by Michael Lee-Chin, is invested in a range of sectors, but does not list any BPO operation among the holdings disclosed on its website.
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