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Warburg Pincus to sell stake in WNS for $192 mn

PTI     February 6, 2013
Warburg Pincus on Wednesday said it plans to sell its entire holding of over 14.5 million American depositary shares (ADS) in BPO firm WNS, through which the private equity firm expects to raise about $192 million.

"Warburg Pincus is proposing to offer and sell 12,625,343 ADSs (in WNS) in an underwritten public offering, subject to market and other conditions," WNS said in a statement.

Warburg Pincus also intends to grant the underwriters of the proposed offering a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1,893,801 ADSs to cover over-allotments, if any, it added.

ADS are US dollar denominated securities of a foreign company listed on a US stock exchange.

Calculated on the basis of the closing price of WNS on February 5 at $13.20 at the NYSE, the offering could mop up funds to the tune of $191.65 million.

WNS said it does not intend to offer any ADS and will not receive any proceeds from the sale of ADS by Warburg Pincus in the offering.

"Assuming the over-allotment option is exercised in full by the underwriters, Warburg Pincus will have no remaining shareholdings in WNS following the offering, it said.

BofA Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo Securities are acting as joint book-running managers and Baird, William Blair & Company and Janney Montgomery Scott are acting as co-managers for the offering.

WNS will also file with the SEC a prospectus supplement with respect to the offering, it said.

Warburg Pincus had acquired a controlling stake in WNS from British Airways in May 2002. Last year, it reduced its stake from 48 per cent to 29 per cent through a $110 million secondary public float priced at $9.25 apiece.

WNS net profit for the October-December quarter was $6.1 million, while revenues were at $120.2 million.

Among the country's leading pure-play BPO providers, WNS had 25,931 employees across 31 delivery centres including India, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, South Africa, Sri Lanka, the UK and the US as on December 31, 2012.

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