Wednesday, 12 November 2014 01:07

Acquire acquisition of Shore Solutions diversifies services

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Australian BPO services and offshore contact centre operator Acquire has moved to diversify and expand its range of business processing services with the finalisation today of the acquisition of Philippine-based BPO Shore Solutions.

The acquisition by the Melbourne-based Acquire, which operates contact centres primarily in the Philippines capital of Manila, expands the company’s workforce to around 7,000 worldwide, including 2,000 employed by Shore.

Shore, established in 2005 as a consultancy for companies looking to offshore their operations, offers contact centre, BPO, IT and professional services to clients globally, including Australia. Acquire, also established in 2005, provides contact centre and BPO services for a wide range of industries including telecommunications, banking and financial services, insurance, media, education and retail.

Acquire CEO Scott Stavretis told iTWire that the Shore purchase brings in services, particularly back-office functions, that complement Acquire’s primarily contact centre business operating through its six Manila contact centres.

The acquisition adds Shore’s full suite of outsourcing operations for major corporations located across Asia, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States to Acquire’s primarily contact centre services.

“Acquire has traditionally grown with traditional voice contact services offshoring, so 98% of what we do would be voice, but part of what we want to do is tap into Shore’s back office functions.

“A big chunk of Shore’s late growth has been in the back office area, providing IT services to clients, recruitment HR services, accounting functions.

“The acquisition of Shore offers several exciting opportunities for Acquire in diversifying our current service offering and bolstering our revenue.  In particular, Shore is a market leader in the BPO side of the business with strong expertise across Human Resource Outsourcing (HRO), Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO), IT and Professional Services, and this really complements Acquire’s outsourcing capabilities.

“Shore is also a Value Added Reseller of SAP-SuccessFactors HCM cloud technology and we are delighted to add this to our service offerings.   Shore’s Contact Centre division has grown rapidly over the past three years and services a range of clients across the globe including some very large well-known household brands.”

The acquisition of Shore is Acquire’s second in less than 12 months, with its first acquisition of Philippine company Animation1 in January this year taking Acquire away from its contact centre roots and into the 3D Animation market.

Stravretis says the Shore acquisition fortifies the company’s strategic plans to accelerate growth as well as increase market share in the BPO industry.

And, he adds, plans for future acquisition activity, as well as current strong organic growth of both businesses, position Acquire to be a “strong disruptor to the competitive landscape in the BPO industry”.

According to Stavretis, the Australian and US markets are the primary growth areas for Acquire’s offshore contact centre services, with companies in these markets the “most aggressive” in trying to cut costs and increase revenue and grow their businesses.

The majority of Acquire’s current clients are Australian and US companies and organisations, outsourcing their services to the Philippine contact centres. Two smaller contact centres in Melbourne service Australian clients who, for various reasons, including commercial contracts and privacy restraints, can’t offshore their services.

The merger of the two businesses, with Acquire BPO as the group parent company, will see the Shore business continue to operate under its own brand with Stravretis as group CEO.

And, Shore executive directors, Darcy Lalonde and Jonathan Smith, will head up Shore’s contact centre and BPO services business.

“I am extremely pleased that the current executive directors of Shore, Darcy Lalonde and Jonathan Smith, who are both well-respected industry leaders, have committed to the future of Acquire and Shore, leveraging the combined group’s experience.

“Additionally, Acquire’s capital can enable them to continue the rapid expansion of Shore’s contact centre and BPO business,” Stavretis said.

Shore CEO Lalonde said the acquisition by Acquire signifies growth for Shore and “the ability to deliver service with stronger capabilities and improved efficiencies”.

“Our clients can expect a more robust portfolio, a comprehensive strategy with numerous growth opportunities and synergies from efficiency and scale.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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