DEALTALK-Global fin firms eye India back office sales

viernes 9 de octubre de 2009 11:26 CEST

* UBS, AmEx, Banc of America seen among likely sellers

* Indian outsourcers, private equity firms interested

* Cost rise, focus on core operations reason for move (For more Reuters DEALTALKS, click [DEALTALK/])

By Anurag Kotoky

MUMBAI, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Global financial firms, emerging from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, are looking to shed India back office operations as they focus on core operations and cost cuts.

AIG (AIG.N: Cotización) and Citigroup Inc (C.N: Cotización), the insurance and banking giants bailed out by the U.S. government, have already sold some of their India units in the past 12 months, and there are increasing expectations of more such deals.

On the block are units of UBS UBSN.VX, American Express (AXP.N: Cotización) and BoA-Merrill Lynch (BAC.N: Cotización), banking sources said, adding Credit Suisse CSGN.VX may follow. There is no official word on the prices but bankers estimate deals to be worth between $100 million to $600 million.

"It is pretty straightforward. Banks don't want these operations anymore," said a banker who is advising a potential buyer of one of the operations. He asked not to be identified as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

"Such captive units are almost passe. Internally they are asking, 'Do we want a few thousand employees working on supportive functions or do we outsource it (on a long-term contract) and pay a few hundred million?'"   Continuación...