Tuesday, September 9, 2014

News: Parseq picks up Pure in pre-pack deal

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Rotherham-headquartered business process and technology specialist, Parseq, has acquired Brighton-based charity contact centre, Pure, out of administration.

Based at Hellaby, Parseq specialises in mobile and online banking software and technology-led outsourcing services.

Pure's client list includes Save the Children, Unicef and Sue Ryder and Parseq believes that it is "a strategic addition to existing charity operation, which increases the company's sector penetration and global reach." In 2013, Parseq made its first acquisition - The Panther Group (TPG), a UK-based contact centre services company which included telephone fundraising company, Pell & Bales.

Parseq's fundraising operations now combine knowledge and experience across two continents, expanding capacity, capabilities and time-zone coverage, through strategic partnerships in North America.

Pure was founded in 2002 and employed over 100 fund raising staff who focused on "donor development" of existing contacts for major charities and not-for-profit organisations in the UK, including political parties and pressure groups. Experts at Duff & Phelps were called in July after Pure encountered financial difficulties due to the loss of a large customer to a competitor, a squeezed fundraising market, costly regulatory requirements and staffing costs.

With debts to RBS and NatWest, a pre-pack administration deal was secured which saw Parseq buy certain assets for £120,000 following extended negotiations over unpaid wages.

Growing firm Parseq had previously tried to acquire Pure when it was solvent as part of plans to create a business with a £100m turnover in three years.

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Derwyn Jones, CEO of Parseq, said: "Pure is a strategic and cultural fit for our existing charity fundraising operation.

"Existing clients of Pure will experience the benefits of being part of a fast growing innovative business that is bringing exciting new services to the sector.

"And it increases our experience and capabilities in the not for profit space as we move closer to our goal of building an outsourcing company that focuses only on business processes with a turnover of £100m."

Parseq was created via a successful reverse takeover by Rami Cassis and Rotherham-based BPO provider, Documetric in 2010. The £33m management buy out was led by Cassis, together with Nova Capital and funds managed by HarbourVest Partners, LLC.

The firm processes over 75,000 items of correspondence a day and the Hellaby facility provides BACS electronic fund transfers, remittance processing and voucher processing services and is also home to a 12,000 sq ft data centre that opened in 2011.

Following the latest acquisition, the combined turnover of the group will now exceed £65m and its client footprint covers the top ten international banks, a third of the UK’s utility sector, the charity sector and a significant presence in the UK insurance sector.

The move comes just two months after its acquisition of Sunderland-based 2Touch, a major contact centre and fulfilment business, which added a complementary 1,000 seat call centre and back office fulfilment operation to Parseq's existing back office, call centre and fundraising operations.

Parseq website

Images: Pell & Bales

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