UK outsourcing giant buys into SA

25 July 2012

British outsourcing giant Capita plc has entered the sub-Saharan African market through the acquisition of South African contact centre solutions business Full Circle for an undisclosed amount.

Newspaper Business Day reported Capita as saying the acquisition would see it investing R500-million in South Africa over the next three years.

“Capita is one of the largest companies of its kind, providing ‘front-office’ contact centre and back office processing solutions for multiple clients from the private and public sectors,” Capita’s joint chief operating officer, Vic Gysin, said in a statement last week.

“The acquisition of Full Circle, a leading contact centre solutions business in South Africa, will enable us to provide a full range of offshored services in the region to our clients.”

Peter Ryan, a lead researcher with UK-based technology analyst firm Ovum, told UK website ChannelBiz that Capita’s move would provide the company “with a deeper penetration into global brand names such as Amazon, as well as the hosted delivery platform that Full Circle has been pioneering.

“This is significant considering the very high level of quality that many executives in the UK (and the broader English-speaking world) associate with contact centre work from South Africa,” Ryan said.

Gareth Pritchard, CEO of Business Process enabling South Africa (BPeSA), said Capita’s acquisition “demonstrates the high value international companies see in the professionalism of home-bred organisations.

“Capita will play a significant role in developing the industry and thereby become a major contributor in our efforts to create jobs in the Western Cape,” Pritchard added.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille said Capita’s experience would “reinforce the Western Cape’s reputation as a serious offshore BPO [business process outsourcing] location.

“Their investment into the region shows the important role that local businesses such as Full Circle have to play in facilitating BPO investment into South Africa.”

SAinfo reporter