Indian Outsourcer WNS Readies IPO

The initial public offering by WNS will be a test for an Indian outsourcing market that has been hurt by rising wages and high employee turnover.

The initial public offering of Indian outsourcer WNS, scheduled for July 25 on the New York Stock Exchange, will test the perception of the Indian outsourcing market, which is under pressure from employee attrition and rising wages.

Employee turnover and upwardly spiraling wages are listed as risk factors in the companys SEC filing. Those twin perils have bedeviled the big Indian players, including Wipro, TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) and Infosys in their quarters that ended in July, 2006.

Wipros stock plunged 5 percent when it admitted to a wage inflation problem.

WNS Holdings, which specializes in BPO (business process outsourcing) for customers in the financial services and travel industries, reported $203 million in revenue and profit of $18 million in its most recent quarter, which ended March 31.

The company posted losses from 2003 to 2005. WNS began life under the wing of British Airways and began offering BPO services to other companies in 2003.

The company, based in Mumbai, India, will offer 10.4 million shares at a target between $18 and $20 per share in hopes of raising $74 million after underwriting costs.

The IPO is the first for a company performing only BPO. The companys major competitors, TCS and Infosys, offer a varied mix of IT outsourcing and application development outsourcing in addition to BPO services.


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