Warburg Pincus Looks To Exit WNS

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Private-equity firm Warburg Pincus is looking to sell its 50.12 percent stake in back-office firm WNS Global Services (WNS.N), the Economic Times said on Friday.

New York-listed WNS, India’s second-largest back-office firm, may fetch a valuation of around $800 million providing Warburg with an exit payout of $400 million, the report said citing investment banking sources.

Bain Capital and Blackstone Group (BX.N) are among the private-equity funds with whom Warburg has had informal discussions even as there is speculation that software firms could be interested in pursuing the deal, it said.

Due diligence is likely to be kicked off in the next couple of days, the report said.

“We are not aware of any such developments,” a spokeswoman for WNS told Reuters.

In 2002, Warburg had paid $40 million to buy a 64 percent stake in WNS from British Airways (BAY.L), the paper said.

Merrill Lynch was believed to be advising Warburg on the possible deal, the report added.

A spokeswoman for Merrill Lynch in India declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.

Warburg was quoted by the paper as saying: “The firm is bound by internal operational policies that does not allow discussion of its investment activities in its portfolio companies in India. Warburg Pincus is unable to share any comments on your queries regarding WNS.”

Warburg and Blackstone officials could not be immediately contacted by Reuters.

Bain Capital said it would not comment on whether it is interested or not interested in specific transactions, the paper said. (Reporting by Janaki Krishnan; Editing by Himani Sarkar)