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A Telus store in Toronto's Beach neighbourhood is seen in this file photo.Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Telus International is continuing an acquisition spree, announcing a deal Monday to acquire a California-based information technology consulting firm with about 1,800 employees in the United States and India.

Telus Corp.'s international outsourcing and call-centre division will initially acquire a 65-per-cent stake in Xavient Information Systems. It will have the right to acquire the remaining interest on or before the end of 2020, and the total purchase price, including the outstanding interest, if acquired, is estimated to be $250-million (U.S.).

Vancouver-based Telus – which sells television, internet and wireless services in Canada – has been expanding its international operations in recent months. The Xavient transaction follows a deal announced in August to acquire Ireland-based Voxpro, a customer, technical and sales support operation with 2,700 employees in the United States, Romania, Ireland and the Philippines.

Telus did not disclose financial terms for the Voxpro deal, but the company will not have to put up any significant cash to finance its purchase of Xavient. It is paying for its interest in the Simi Valley, Calif.-based company with a combination of Telus International shares and drawing on Telus International's credit facilities.

In May, 2016, Telus sold a 35-per-cent stake in its international operation to Baring Private Equity Asia. Telus received $600-million (Canadian) in proceeds from that transaction through a combination of equity from the sale as well as a $425-million facility secured against the assets of Telus International.

Telus said at the time it needed the funds to help finance its fibre-optic expansion back home. In a years-long project, it has been upgrading its old copper infrastructure and pulling fibre directly to customers' homes to improve internet speeds.

The company invested in a call-centre business in the Philippines in 2005, expanding its previous international operations of IT consulting. Telus outsources some of its own customer care to the business, but CEO Darren Entwistle said in 2016 that just 25 per cent of Telus International employees support Telus itself, while the others work for major global brands such as Google.

Telus International now has about 28,000 employees around the world (which is in addition to Telus's own 25,500 employees).

Xavient's customers are primarily in the telecom, media, entertainment, health care, and banking and financial services sectors.

Telus International said in a statement that the acquisition will help it increase its presence in the United States and represents its first foray into India. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals in both of those countries and is expected to close by the end of this year.

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