Mumbai, Mar 21: Time Warner Inc's AOL is close to selling its Bangalore call centre to India's Essar group for about $100 million in an all-cash deal, the Times of India reported on Thursday, citing sources.
The newspaper said AOL was likely to make an announcement as early as Friday, quoting sources close to the deal. "We are not aware of any such move," the paper quoted AOL's call centre and back office operations vice president Rajiv Ahuja as saying. "We have sold some call centre sites in the U.S. as part of business realignment. I don't know if similar things can happen in India as well," he said.
The facility has 1,200 people who handles technical support and customer service to clients through dial-up or broadband.
The paper said Aegis Communications, the back-office arm of Essar, beat Wipro (WIPR.BO: Quote, Profile, Research), India's No. 3 software services exporters, among others for the deal.
"This is purely speculative at the moment and we do not comment on speculation," Aparup Sengupta, chief executive of Aegis, told the paper.
An Essar group spokesman reached by Reuters said no deal was in the offing at the moment.
Aegis has more than 10,000 people in call centers in India and one in the United States, the paper said. AOL will continue as a client for the next two years, it said.