West Corp. Files for $500 Million IPO

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Private-equity backed West Corp, an operator of call centers and conference calls backed by private equity firms, filed plans on Friday to raise as much as $500 million in an initial public offering.

The Omaha, Nebraska-based company was acquired in 2006 by a group led by private equity firms THL and Quadrangle Group LLC for $3.34 billion.

A number of private equity-backed firms have begun to cash in their investments now that the IPO market is recovering and companies can command higher prices when going public.

The private equity firms in the West Corp IPO are likely to make 2.5 to 3 times their initial investment in the move, a source familiar with the IPO said.

Quadrangle had told investors in September that it plans to raise its focus on its existing portfolio to create a “heightened focus on realizations and exits.”

The firm, which also has investments in assets such as movie studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, was co-founded by Steven Rattner, who left the firm earlier this year.

West Corp provides conferencing services and other communications technology and services to a variety of clients, including hospitals, public safety organizations and corporations.

For the six months ended June 30, 2009, West Corp’s revenue rose 12.7 percent to $1.2 billion over the year-earlier period, with net income of $57.1 million, according to a prospectus filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The IPO will be managed by Goldman Sachs & Co and Morgan Stanley.

The filing did not give an estimated timing for the IPO.

(Reporting by Phil Wahba and Megan Davies; Editing by Gary Hill and Richard Chang)