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Bain Capital to purchase BellSystem24 from Citi

Bain Capital has signed definitive agreement to acquire Citigroup’s controlling stake in Japan’s call centre operator, BellSystem24, in a tender offer valuing the company at approximately JPY100bn (USD1.1bn).

Bain Capital has received committed financing for the transaction from Japan’s largest banks – Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Mizuho Corporate Bank.

The transaction, upon completion, would be the largest buyout in Japan in nearly two years.

"BellSystem24 is the industry leader in the Japanese call centre market. We believe there is a significant opportunity to grow the business as companies continue to look for ways to not only lower costs, but also benefit from greater efficiency and flexibility by outsourcing their call center operations," says Yuji Sugimoto, a managing director at Bain Capital.

Bain Capital established offices in Tokyo in 2006, and has a team of 20 investment and operations professionals in Japan to pursue investment opportunities and work with its portfolio companies.

Bain Capital has made investments in a variety of companies with principal or significant operations in Japan, including MEI Conlux, Sun Telephone, D&M Holdings, Toys "R" Us, and Burger King.

The firm also has prior experience investing in the call centre industry having invested successfully in Stream International, a US call centre company.

Under the terms of the tender offer, Citigroup Capital Partners Japan, a subsidiary of Citi, will receive cash consideration for its 93.5 per cent stake in BellSystem24. The tender offer is expected to be launched on or before 20 November 2009, and to be settled on 30 December 2009. The tender offer is subject to regulatory review and customary closing conditions.

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