UST Global scouting acquistions in India, Europe, LatAm

Written by Corporate Bureau | Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 27 | Updated: Aug 28 2008, 07:56am hrs
The $250-million UST Global, part of the California-based Comcraft group, is on the lookout for acquisitons in ERP and business intelligence verticals to finetune its global footprint. The company is also coming out with an IPO in the US soon.

The IPO is likely to come in the last quarter of 2009 or first quarter of 2010, depending on market conditions, UST Global top brass said, here.

Almost 100% of UST Global equity is held by Chandaria family, Indu Chandaria, a spokesman of the Chandaria family said in a telecon from Switzerland.

Any report that Chandarias has divested their interest in the company is baseless, he added. On the contrary, the firm plans to ramp up its global operations and grow in revenue by 50%, Chandaria said.

As part of its inorganic growth plan strategy, the company is looking for potential acquisitions in India, Europe and Latin America . UST Global had earlier taken over QA Labs Inc, a Canada-based software testing facilty and E-built, a system-architecture firm in Orange Country.

"We are looking at takeover candidates in India in ERP and business intelligence verticals primarily for scale effect. In Europe and Latin America, the right acquisitions could bring high-end technology skills and also better market access," Arun Narayanan, COO, UST Global said.

Currently, the company employs 5000 people in its high-end technology verticals. Within 24 months, a recruiting spree will see the headcount touching 10,000 people, UST Global CEO Sajan Pillai said. "Going in tune with the specifications of the company's Fortune 500 clientele, the immediate plan will be to whip up a multi-cultural workforce. This means, more active hiring and other other expansion are likely to happen in its non-Indian centres," he added.

UST Global has offshore centres in Malaysia and the Phillipines. These are likely to be expanded in the new flurry of activities. The company has decided on a new centre in Santiago (Chile). As part of broadbasing in Latin American countries, another centre in Central Mexico too is in consideration.

"We have pre-signed 60% of our revenue pipeline, which calls for expansion in a jiffy," Pillai said.

Meanwhile, expansion in its India subsidiary is not in standstill. It has centres in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Chennai. In Kochi alone the company is spending $50 million in Phase I of its campus expansion, doubling its 150-strong manpower. The company had started issuing employee stock options (Esops) to its staff from this year. In the Indian centres, about 60-70% have claimed Esops.