The FINANCIAL -- The EBRD
has successfully exited its investment in CallPoint New Europe after its
purchase of a minority stake helped the Bulgarian outsourcing company
to pursue a rapid growth strategy and attract a major international
investor in the shape of Canadian telecommunications leader TELUS.
In July 2011, the EBRD bought a €3 million stake in CallPoint, which has 1,000 employees based in Bulgaria and Romania and specialises in contact centre and business process outsourcing (BPO).
The Sofia-based company works in 28 languages and has more than 50 clients across Europe and the US, including businesses in the travel, e-commerce, IT, pharmaceutical and financial services sectors. Its services include customer support, telemarketing and marketing surveys.
On Friday 14 September, the EBRD sold its minority stake in CallPoint to TELUS International, the global arm of TELUS Corporation, which is seeking to expand its European operations.
“The EBRD’s involvement, which began at a time when alternative sources of investor financing were scarce, put CallPoint in a better position to attract international interest,” says Daniel Berg, EBRD Director, Bulgaria. “With such a large strategic investor, CallPoint’s future success is well established.”
CallPoint prides itself on its young team of entrepreneurs – the average age of staff is just 26. It also places a high priority on the quality of the jobs it creates, stressing good corporate governance as well as corporate and social responsibility and devoting significant time to training and career development.
The Bulgarian group, established in 2004, seeks to provide a European alternative to the outsourcing centres that have sprung up across Asia in particular. It caters to a diverse European client base, offering its services in all the languages spoken in the European Union as well as Russian and Turkish.
The EBRD is committed to supporting the knowledge-based economy in Bulgaria and Romania. Its purchase of a stake in CallPoint was its first investment in the Bulgarian BPO sector and also the first small equity investment in Bulgaria utilising the EBRD – Italy Local Enterprise Facility (LEF). As the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development reported, LEF was introduced in Bulgaria from January 2011, following several successful years in other countries around the Balkans.
The EBRD is one of the leading investors in Bulgaria’s economy. Since the beginning of its operations there the EBRD has invested more than €2.5 billion in over 200 projects in various sectors of the country’s economy. With a total project value exceeding €8 billion, the EBRD’s funds have helped mobilise over €5.5 billion in co-financing from other sources.