Bain Capital acquires Telefonica unit in €1bn deal

Spanish telecom major Telefonica SA (MCE:TEF) said today it had sealed a definitive deal to dispose of its customer relationship management (CRM) business Atento to firms controlled by US private equity group Bain Capital LLC for about EUR1bn (USD1.3bn).

The agreed consideration represents the transaction’s enterprise value and includes a contingent deferred payment of EUR110m. The total amount also takes into consideration an EUR110m funding that will be provided by Telefonica to the buyer.

The sale needs to be greenlighted by the relevant regulators and is scheduled for completion by no later than 31 December 2012. Through it, Telefonica is looking to improve its financial flexibility. The move is also part of the policy of proactive management of the firm’s portfolio of assets, the vendor explained.

The parties have also entered into a nine-year framework agreement that calls for Atento to offer services to its former parent.

According to Telefonica, Madrid-based Atento is the multinational leader in the CRM field in Latin America and the second biggest sector player on a global basis.

The firm has since 1999 developed its business model in over 15 countries with a headcount of more than 152,000 employees. Last year, it generated revenues of EUR1.8bn. Its net debt amounted to EUR175m as of June this year.