General Electric Co. is engaged in talks to sell all or part of GE Capital International Services (GECIS), its India-based call-center unit, reported The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the situation. The business-process-outsourcing operation could fetch as much as $1 billion.
GECIS, born in 1993, employs 12,000 people at four centers in India — which makes it the largest such operation in India by a U.S. or European company, according to the Journal — and another 5,000 in Hungary, Mexico, and China. The division initially handled basic insurance claims and answered calls from customers of GE’s lending units but has moved into business software development and remote-network monitoring.
Sources cited by the Journal suggested that talk of a sale indicates that GE hopes to profit from an investment rather than backtrack from outsourcing, in contrast to the move by JP Morgan Chase earlier in the week. GECIS had $400 million in revenue in 2003, added the paper. GE declined to comment.
Texas Pacific Group, investment firm Warburg Pincus LP, and India-based outsourcer Wipro Ltd. have shown interest, people familiar with the talks told the Journal, but no deal appears to be immediately in the offing.