PPM sells Astron Group

PPM Ventures has agreed the sale of The Astron Group, a document BPO provider, to R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company for a consideration of £520m. The investment returns well over five times the original investment and represents PPM Venture’s second portfolio exit of the year to an international trade buyer. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals.

PPM originally acquired Astron in 2000, in a £92m merger with an existing portfolio company Tactica Solutions, formerly HMSO. Since then Astron has made a further four acquisitions and the business has developed into a leading European document BPO player. The management team was led by David Mitchell, chief executive, who will remain with the business following RR Donnelley’s acquisition.

Astron employs over 4,000 people across 70 locations globally and expects approximately £290m in revenue in 2005.