Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Wheelings & Dealings: Qualfon Acquisition of Center Partners get nod as Small-Market Deal of Year for 2014

November 20, 2014

For those who are frequent visitors to the Contact Center Solutions Community, you know that we like to report on recognition that community members get.  However, recognition can cover a lot of ground so not always does it involve a company receiving an award for providing great customer services.

A case in point is the recent announcement that Qualfon, a business process outsourcing (BPO) and contact center service provider, was recognized by the Global M&A Network as the small-market deal of the year for 2014.

Plus, Headwaters MB, the company that advised Qualfon in its acquisitions, was named the winner of the Americas M&A Atlas “Deal of Year” Award in the small-market category, specifically for Qualfon’s acquisition of Center Partners from Kantar, a subsidiary of WPP Group. The company accepted the award at the annual Americas M&A Atlas Awards ceremony, held on October 30, 2014 in New York.

As community members know, our sector is undergoing massive changes as contact centers transform and go from what could be called corporate attractive nuisances to critical hubs for enhancing customer experiences, generating loyalty and hopefully more revenues and profits. Part of the change is also that those providing solutions, whether vendors to contact centers or BPO entities, are now seen as attractive assets. Industry restructuring while not yet rampant is certainly getting interesting.

Obviously, the M&A Atlas Awards are part of the mix in looking at restructuring. In fact, they are billed as “validating corporate growth and the private equity investment strategies, as well as the organization brand leadership position for successfully executing value-generating transactions valued below one billion USD in the North and South Americas.”

“We think that the team from Center Partners is a terrific addition to the Qualfon family,” said Mike Marrow, CEO of Qualfon. “With the help of Headwaters MB, we found a great company that expanded our footprint, client base, and service offerings. It literally was the perfect fit for us and for Center Partners.”

This was a pretty fast-track deal. On May 7, 2014, Qualfon announced that it acquired the business of Center Partners, a United States contact center outsourcing company with clients in the communications, financial, technology, and retail industries. Center Partners had six contact centers across Idaho, Washington and Colorado with approximately 2,500 employees who were added to Qualfon’s 10,000 employees and 11 contact centers, primarily in near-shore and off-shore locations.

In explaining the acquisition, Qualfon did expand its footprint and diversify to even more of the regions and verticals it serves.  It also notes that the acquisition gave it deeper expertise in customer care and technical support, and expanded its reach in various verticals to Tier 1 companies.

We may be at the end of the year, but it is not too early to predict that industry restructuring in all aspects of customer experience solutions is going to be a major trend to follow in 2015.

Edited by Maurice Nagle