Baring PE Asia nears $1b deal to acquire Philippines-based outsourcing firm Straive

Manila, Philippines. Photo: David Milmont/unsplash

Alternative investment major Baring Private Equity Asia is said to be edging closer to acquire Philippine-based content technology outsourcing firm Straive (formerly known as SPi Global) from Swiss fund manager Partners Group for $1 billion, according to a Bloomberg report.

The report said Baring PE Asia and Partners Group are already finalising the details of the $1-billion deal but the talks could still be delayed or fall apart. Baring PE Asia outbid other private equity firms that expressed interest to acquire the outsourcing company.

Partners Group acquired Straive in 2017 from companies controlled by CVC Capital Partners Asia III and PLDT Global Investments Corp, an indirect subsidiary of Philippine-listed telecommunications company PLDT, for $330 million.

If the deal pushes through, Straive would be Baring PE Asia’s second major acquisition this month. Earlier, it agreed to acquire healthcare services business Hinduja Global Solutions Ltd for $1.2 billion.

The $1-billion deal is in line with Partners Group’s target. The firm was first reported in April to be considering selling Straive, which provides outsourcing services to financial services firms, education, science, technical, and medical research publishers globally.

These services span a publisher’s entire value chain, from author support and content development through copy editing and typesetting to digitalisation, database management, and data analytics.

The outsourcing firm serves its clients in 14 languages through more than a dozen delivery operations globally and employs at least 15,000 people in the Philippines, India, China, Vietnam, Nicaragua, the UK, and the US.

In August 2020, Straive acquired a majority stake in global B2B edtech services enterprise LearningMate for an undisclosed sum. It also acquired Indian edtech company e-Knowledge Center in June 2018 and another Indian company, Scientific Publishing Services (SPS), in 2019 from research and education publisher Springer Nature Group.

Partners Group earlier said it will look for tech opportunities in Asia, as the sector’s growth in the region accelerates. The Swiss alternative assets manager is expecting to allocate 15- 20% of its global tech investments to opportunities in Asia to start with, according to Cyrus Driver, now managing director of Partners’ Private Equity Technology business unit.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.