US private equity giant Blackstone has picked up a 75% stake in VFS Global, further expanding its holdings in the global IT/BPO services industry.
Swedish private equity firm EQT has retained a 15% stake in the BPO, with founder-CEO Zubin Karkaria keeping the remaining 10%.
Blackstone has not disclosed the financial details of the deal, but India’s news agency PTI has put the purchasing price at US$1.87 billion.
Founded in Mumbai, India, VFS Global provides back-office services to government agencies issuing passports and visas. In other words, it handles non-judgmental tasks related to visas, passports, and consular services for governments and diplomatic missions.
It serves over 60 client governments through more than 3,500 Visa Application Centers in more than 140 countries around the world.
“VFS spearheaded the visa outsourcing business and is today a global market leader, playing a crucial role in enabling access to travel for millions of people around the world in an efficient and secure manner,” stated Blackstone in a press release.
VFS’ visa- at-your-doorstep service is available in more than 60 countries. Globally, its main competitor is French firm TLScontact.
Over the past decade, Blackstone has continuously raised its stake in BPO and IT services providers. It is a major stakeholder in TaskUs as well. Earlier in April, the equity firm sealed a deal to own a majority stake in India’s IT services provider Mphasis.