Sykes Enterprises, Incorporated Acquires Pure-Play & Best-of-Breed RPA Service Provider Symphony Ventures Limited


Symphony, a SYKES company Logo

Sykes Enterprises, Incorporated (“SYKES” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: SYKE), a leading provider of multichannel demand generation and global customer engagement services, announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Symphony Ventures Limited, or “Symphony”, the leading global pure-play and best-of-breed provider of RPA services. Founded in 2014 and headquartered in London, UK, Symphony is a premier provider to blue chip clients, offering RPA consulting, implementation, hosting and managed services. Approximately 200 people strong, Symphony has one of the largest independent global teams of Intelligent Automation experts. With a proven track record of success in automating thousands of front, middle and back-office processes at marquee brands, Symphony serves numerous industries globally, including financial services, healthcare, business services, manufacturing, consumer products, communications, media and entertainment. Symphony holds partnerships with leading RPA software vendors, including Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism, NICE, Thoughtonomy, and UiPath and has grown roughly four-fold since fiscal year 2016.

The strategic rationale for the Symphony acquisition is compelling as it:

  • Definitively positions SYKES as an early mover and a clear leader amongst its peers in its ability to support clients’ RPA and IA initiatives globally across all facets of their business operations while enabling it to tap into an adjacent market estimated to be $8.1 billion growing at a roughly 30% compound annual growth rate;
  • Further enhances SYKES’ service portfolio and creates additional differentiation in its go-to-market strategy to penetrate new clients and verticals and increase wallet share within existing clients;
  • Enables SYKES to drive innovation in transaction workflow streams in order to enhance agent productivity and drive greater agent satisfaction given the current labor backdrop while helping to navigate long-term labor and demographic headwinds; and
  • Complements machine learning capabilities from XSELL Technologies that are tied to digital sales with Symphony’s capabilities tied to enhancing customer service thus optimizing the whole customer life cycle journey and management.

President & Chief Executive Officer Chuck Sykes commented, “The acquisition of Symphony is another significant step in building our company’s capabilities to succeed as the digital revolution continues to transform our clients’ businesses, their customer service needs, and by extension, the customer support industry. Combining the power of RPA with human ingenuity enables us to help our clients modernize, optimize and integrate key components of their digital operations to significantly improve their business, as well as improve their customers’ life cycle journey experience.  The world of intelligent automation systems is approaching a tipping point, and we’re excited to be able to participate in this new technological advancement in a meaningful way.  In that regard, I want to congratulate the Symphony team on their accomplishment of building a leading global brand in this new and exciting field and welcome them to the SYKES family.”

Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, the Company will pay a cash purchase price of approximately £52 million, or $69 million at pound-dollar exchange rate of £1-to-$1.32, for 100% ownership of Symphony Ventures Limited, which is expected to be funded through a combination of cash on hand and the Company’s credit facility. The purchase price is approximately 2.0x 2019 projected revenues. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close on or about November 1, 2018. Symphony, through its innovative practices, has developed a well-recognized brand in the industry, which it is expected to retain post acquisition. The management team will remain in place after the transaction closes and will continue to oversee the day-to-day operations of the business.

Chief Executive Officer of Symphony Ventures Limited, David Poole, stated, “Symphony has rapidly grown over the past four years to become the digital operations partner of choice for numerous enterprise clients looking to implement RPA and IA solutions. This growth has been due to the efforts of our highly trained and experienced team that take a process first approach to digital transformation to ensure we deliver top notch quality each and every time. Both SYKES and Symphony are innovative pioneers dedicated to improving customer and client experience. By joining the SYKES family, Symphony will be able to realize the next chapter of our vision to orchestrate the world’s work and drive value for our clients and employees.”

Results International Group, LLP served as a sole financial advisor to Symphony Ventures Limited on the transaction. Symphony Ventures Limited was also advised by Acresis. Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP served as SYKES’ legal advisor, while Withers LLP served as Symphony Ventures Limited’s legal advisor. London headquartered Livingbridge, an investor in Symphony Ventures Limited, is a mid-market multi-sector-focused private equity firm.

Read the full press release.

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