Bain Has Plans To List Bellsystem In Future

Bain Capital, which earlier this week announced its $1 billion acquisition of Bellsystem24 from Citigroup Inc., said it would look to list the Japanese telemarketer when it is ready to exit its investment.

“Bellsystem was a very successfully traded public company,” said David Gross-Loh, managing director at Bain Capital Japan in an interview on Nov. 19. “Bain Capital is likely to consider listing Bellsystem24 in the future.”

Bellsystem24 was listed until it was bought by Nikko Principal Investments, a private equity arm of Japanese brokerage group Nikko Cordial, which was later purchased by Citigroup.

“Call center industry has become more established in Japan as companies increasingly outsource this type of customer related service to focus on their core business,” Gross-Loh said.

Citigroup said on Nov. 15 it agreed to sell its stake in Japanese telemarketer Bellsystem24 to Bain Capital for 93.5 billion yen ($1 billion) in the largest private equity deal in Japan involving a foreign buyout shop in almost two years.

Bain Capital used its $1 billion Asia-focused fund to take care of the equity portion of the deal. That fund still has about $500 million left, Gross-Loh said.

Going forward, Bain Capital will continue to seek out new deals in Japan, including those in the $1 billion size range.

“Japanese companies are facing a number of challenges in this difficult economic environment and are increasingly viewing private equity as a viable solution,” he said.

(Reporting by Junko Fujita)