Blackstone to acquire 75% stake in VFS Global for $1.87 billion

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on October 07, 2021

Private equity firm Blackstone is acquiring a 75 per cent stake in VFS Global for $1.87 billion. The American investment firm bought this stake from EQT Private Equity and Kuoni and Hugentobler Foundation (KHF).

In a press note issued by Blackstone on Wednesday, it said: “Blackstone, EQT and the Kuoni and Hugentobler Foundation (KHF) today announce that funds managed by Blackstone Capital Partners have signed a definitive agreement with EQT VII fund and KHF to acquire a majority stake in VFS Global.”

It further added that while EQT Private Equity will remain indirectly invested in VFS with a minority position alongside Blackstone. Blackstone, as majority shareholder, and KHF, as minority shareholder, will be co-investors in the Company following the closing of the transaction.

VFS Global is the global market leader in visa outsourcing services, headquartered in Zürich, Switzerland and Dubai, UAE. Founded by its current CEO, Zubin Karkaria in 2001, the Company pioneered the professionalization of the visa market. It is now the largest provider of visa outsourcing and technology services to governments and diplomatic missions worldwide.

VFS Global services more than 60 client governments through ~3,500 visa application centres in over 140 countries across five continents. Since its inception, the company has successfully processed over 230 million applications, and more than 100 million biometric enrolments. In providing these services, VFS Global does not take a role in the decision-making process behind visa applications being granted or denied.

Zubin Karkaria, CEO of VFS Global said: “We now look forward to further cementing and building upon our market-leading position with the help of Blackstone’s scale, expertise, and global network.”

According to reports, Blackstone has invested close to $20 billion in India. During the last year itself, it bought Piramal Glass Pvt. Ltd at a billion-dollar valuation, and signed a $1.5 billion deal with Prestige Group to buy the latter’s office and retail assets for $1.5 billion.

Lionel Assant and Amit Dixit, Europe and Asia Head of Blackstone Private Equity, respectively, said: “We look forward to helping the company capitalize on the global travel recovery, accelerate its digitization journey, and expand into adjacent services to further accelerate growth and create value for all stakeholders.”

Published on October 07, 2021

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