Webhelp Announces Debt Refinancing

Webhelp, a global leader in business process outsourcing (BPO), has announced the closing of a €75m add-on and a re-pricing of its existing €560m First Lien Term Loan Facilities. Pro forma for the new raise, the total First Lien Term Facilities are €635m.

The transaction optimises Webhelp’s financing structure by decreasing annual interest expense as well as providing strong liquidity for its next phase of growth and expansion.

Pricing of the existing €560m First Lien Term Loan Facility was reduced from a margin of 550bps to 425bps at Par from initial guidance of 450-475bps coupled with a lender fee of 0.25%.

Given the strong investor support, the size of the add-on was increased from €50m to €75m. Proceeds of the add-on repay the Company’s RCF borrowings and free up dry-powder for future acquisitions.

In addition, to better match its underlying cash flows, Webhelp was able to introduce a new £75m tranche.

The offering was very well received, achieving unanimous consent from the existing lenders and a very strong orderbook for the new money.

The debt facilities were originally syndicated in early 2016 when KKR became a new investor and financial partner to Webhelp. The terms of the refinancing demonstrate the soundness of the industry fundamentals, the relevance of Webhelp’s business model and the quality of its management team.

The transaction was arranged by KKR Capital Markets and Nomura.


Webhelp Announces Refinancing

Webhelp, a global leader in business process outsourcing (BPO), has announced the closing of a €75m add-on and a re-pricing of its existing €560m First Lien Term Loan Facilities. Pro forma for the new raise, the total First Lien Term Facilities are €635m.

The transaction optimises Webhelp’s financing structure by decreasing annual interest expense as well as providing strong liquidity for its next phase of growth and expansion.

Pricing of the existing €560m First Lien Term Loan Facility was reduced from a margin of 550bps to 425bps at Par from initial guidance of 450-475bps coupled with a lender fee of 0.25%.

Given the strong investor support, the size of the add-on was increased from €50m to €75m. Proceeds of the add-on repay the Company’s RCF borrowings and free up dry-powder for future acquisitions.

In addition, to better match its underlying cash flows, Webhelp was able to introduce a new £75m tranche.

The offering was very well received, achieving unanimous consent from the existing lenders and a very strong orderbook for the new money.

The debt facilities were originally syndicated in early 2016 when KKR became a new investor and financial partner to Webhelp. The terms of the refinancing demonstrate the soundness of the industry fundamentals, the relevance of Webhelp’s business model and the quality of its management team.

The transaction was arranged by KKR Capital Markets and Nomura.


Roy Zaal shortlisted for the Young Sales Professional of the Year Award

Profielfoto-Roy-Zaal-300x300

Business Consultant Roy Zaal has been named as a finalist in the category Young Sales Professional in this year’s SMA (Sales Management Association) Awards.

The SMA Awards encompass three categories: Young Sales Professional, Senior Sales Professional and Commercial Director of the Year. Members of the SMA nominated sales talents last year. The key criteria are: authenticity, proven results, career development, sales vision and persuasiveness. After a challenging process, Roy Zaal has been shortlisted for the finals.

Recognition

Commercial Director Thiemo van Spellen says: "Getting into the finals of this prestigious event is a top performance. It is a wonderful way to recognize Roy’s personal growth and the results he and his team have made. This is also a great recognition for the development of the sales approach of Webhelp.”

The award ceremony

This year’s winners will be announced in a ceremony at the Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin on March 9th, attended by hundreds of sales professionals.


Webhelp Named as Key Partner for Global Food Sales Initiative Gourming

Webhelp has been selected as the financial transaction and customer experience partner for the new Gourming initiative, it was announced at the initiative’s launch in Paris.

Gourming, a name derived from Gourmet and Sourcing, is a B2B marketplace to allow small and medium artisan French food manufacturers and producers easier access to international markets to sell their products.

Webhelp is working with Gourming to remove two of the major barriers to small French producers successfully developing the global market for their products, and as such has become a key partner in the development of this marketplace.

Smaller businesses have traditionally struggled to match the customer experience standards offered by the larger companies. Through this initiative, Webhelp will be able to provide these businesses with access to customer contact channels, such as email, webchat and voice, which they would not be in a position to deliver to their customers independently.

Another major stumbling block for small and artisan producers has been the ability to transact through the systems and methods preferred by each different market. Through its partnership with Webhelp, Gourming is able to breach that difficulty and facilitate easy payments that will work for both buyers and sellers.

Gert-Jan Morsink, CEO Webhelp Netherlands and member of the board of Directors at Webhelp, explained: "The  launch of the Gourming platform confirms our vision: B2B marketplaces are an exceptional opportunity. Their success is based on the ability to build targeted partnerships and Webhelp is very pleased and proud to be a part of that journey. We will offer international payment services that are fully compliant and reliable and through this platform, smaller businesses will have the ability to access our award winning and renowned customer experience solutions. We are delighted to be able to support the exceptional businesses operating in the French food production market and are proud of our role in helping them to bring their products to a global customer base.”


Webhelp collects for the food bank

For the third consecutive year, employees of the Webhelp locations in Ede and Groningen organised a collection for the local food banks. On December 23, Webhelp has delivered more than 55 crates of supplies which they have received gratefully.

The week before Christmas, employees of these locations brought the products for the food bank.

Marcel Paes, Client Director at Webhelp "What touches me most, are the stories of our employees. It is overwhelming that everyone participated so eager. I am confident that Webhelp has made a great contribution. The food banks had been delighted and grateful for our donation. They have divided and distributed the products to all those in need the same day so that everyone had something extra to enjoy during the holidays."

Webhelp and charities

Webhelp commits to charities on a regular base. We support them by handling their calls during TV shows. And Webhelp is the main sponsor of the Challenge Mont Ventoux. Colleagues climb this mountain for the Join4Energy foundation.


Webhelp Boosts Technology Enabler Pedigree with Acquisition of MyStudioFactory

Leading global customer experience and business process outsourcing company, Webhelp, has announced a partnership with top French digital strategy and implementation firm, MyStudioFactory.

MyStudioFactory is a market leader in designing and implementing mobile user experience solutions and app development and will ensure Webhelp can offer a seamless digital customer experience solution to its clients.

The acquisition is in line with Webhelp’s strategy of growing geographically and by sector expertise and is the 10th agreement the outsourcer has made in 24 months.

Gert-Jan Morsink, CEO Webhelp Netherlands and member of the board of Directors at Webhelp said: “We know it is increasingly important to our clients for us to offer them a seamless, end-to-end, omni-channel solution to their customer experience requirements. We are proud of our ability to provide cutting edge solutions and by adding MyStudioFactory to the Webhelp family we will be able to take advantage of their expertise in the fields of mobile user experience, augmented reality and app development."

 

The existing management of MyStudioFactory, Guillaume Bonneault and Belaïd Moucer, will remain at the helm of the business, which will continue to operate from its offices in the 8th arrondissement in Paris.

Guillaume Bonneault, CEO and co-founder of MyStudioFactory, welcomed the deal, by saying: “Webhelp is a global leader in customer experience and has an extremely enviable client list. I am excited by the prospect of working with them to develop the digital customer experience solutions we can together offer their clients.”

 

 

 

 


Transformation is necessary to survive

Webhelp is a fast growing company. The French company is rapidly expanding its expertise and footprint. The Business Process Outsourcer recently acquired the French social media agency Netino and further acquisitions are expected in the Netherlands in 2017. Thomas Blankvoort, Director of Business Development & MarCom at Webhelp Netherlands and General Manager of subsidiary Xtrasource talks about customer experience industry trends and Webhelp’s role in a changing market.

SERVICE PROVIDER
Today’s consumers demand immediate assistance
“Webhelp’s core business was, and remains, providing high-quality service which is why we continue to set the industry benchmark. Our industry is extremely competitive and creating and designing differentiating offers can be difficult. Nevertheless, we always take on the challenge of creating added value; strong brands make sure they are best in class. The economy is transforming into a service oriented market in which more emphasis is placed on efficiently utilising products and services, rather than product ownership. Clear examples of this transformation are Netflix and Airbnb. Furthermore, consumers expect the very best service at any given moment, in any given channel, and in the language of their choosing, regardless of location. On top of this, customer service contact is becoming more and more personal, and sales offers reflect this trend. By using data and analytics, these offers are continuously customised for each client. Webhelp plays an important role in this process and we continuously need to improve interaction with consumers in this light.”

DESIGN SOLUTION
Services at all touchpoints
"Consumers are more demanding than ever before and companies need to adjust in order to survive. A 360-degree customer view and a customer journey that seamlessly connects all touchpoints and meets, or even exceeds consumer expectations, that's what it’s all about! To achieve this, B2C organisations must transform into flexible organisations. Webhelp is in this transition as well. We are becoming a Business Process Outsourcer; a role that provides new opportunities.  Customer experience remains the focal point of our business but we offer a much wider variety of services with the conviction that these will enhance the customer experience. We now offer solutions for many crucial touchpoints throughout the customer journey: digital sales through chat, social engagement through social media, but also solutions for payment issues and RMA’s. We take a scientific approach based on data, analytics and insights, both in B2B and B2C markets to drive value for clients and experience for users!

TECHNOLOGY ENABLER
Technology centre in customer experiences
“Technology plays an increasingly pivotal role in our day-to-day lives. For this reason, technology is key for Webhelp.  We are currently developing our own chat bots in order to improve our knowledge and assess consumers’ perception of these advances. I am convinced that human interaction remains important, especially in more complex situations, but I also believe that chat bots and other self-service solutions will come to the fore in 2017. As a global player, we push the limits integrating technology into our services. Only then are we able to engineer new customer experiences.

 


Webhelp Signs Partnership with Recast.AI to Develop Chatbot and Artificial Intelligence Offering

Leading global business process and customer experience outsourcer Webhelp, has announced a new partnership with Recast.AI that will allow the customer experience outsourcer to develop its ChatBot and artificial intelligence capabilities.

 

The partnership will bring together two leaders in their respective fields to ensure the power of artificial intelligence is harnessed and exploited to drive forward the customer experience industry.

 

The partnership between Webhelp and Recast.AI will make customisable ChatBots and AI powered customer experience solutions more widely accessible. This will enable Webhelp’s clients to easily implement highly personalised ChatBots, software that simulates human-like conversations through either voice or text based interactions. ChatBots can be deployed into multiple channels such as Messenger, SMS, In-App, Skype, Slack to improve convenience and customer experience.

 

Webhelp’s existing ChatBot offering will be accelerated as a result of this partnership.

 

Dave Pattman, global director of R&D at Webhelp, said: “Webhelp’s position as a technology enabler is incredibly important to us. The time and resources we are investing in the development of new technologies, such as chatbots, as well as establishing relationships with best-in-breed technology startups is what sets us apart from other customer experience and business process outsourcers.”

 

“We have been very impressed by the product Recast.AI has created, which they demonstrated when they won our ‘March of the Bots’ challenge at Viva Technology in the summer. We are excited about the prospect of working with them to disrupt customer experience expectations with the expert application of artificial intelligence technologies.”

 

Patrick Joubert, co-founder and CEO of Recast.AI, said: “Webhelp is a leading global customer experience outsourcing business and has a huge experience as well as a fantastic reputation in this sector. We are delighted to work alongside Webhelp and add our expertise in artificial intelligence to expand their already impressive offer to conversational interfaces. I am confident that joining the relevant expertise and resources of both companies will lead to the development of new initiatives that will drive forward the potential of ChatBots and artificial intelligence in customer experience.”

 

 

 

 

 

ENDS

 

 

Press information:

Heather Astbury, head of PR at Webhelp, on +44(0)7825 593242, heather.astbury@uk.webhelp.com

 

Justine Baron, Press relations, on +33 6 77 68 43 26, justine.baron@recast.ai