Outsourcing services provider Serco has acquired UK public sector business of business process outsourcing and IT services company Vertex for £56 million in cash.
Vertex sold its UK private sector business to Serco’s arch-rival Capita last year for £41 million.
Vertex’s UK public sector customers include Thurrock Council, Westminster City Council, the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission and Job Centre Plus. The division had 3,000 employees and annual revenues of around £110 million.
Serco will add Vertex to its Global Services business, which it created earlier this year following the acquisitions Last year, acquired UK-based call centre outsourcing company The Listening Company, Indian BPO provider Intelenet and Australian contact centre service provider Excelior.
“The acquisition considerably increases our market presence and further improves Serco’s position for large scale outsourcing opportunities,” the company said in a statement. “We expect it to enable us to provide additional services into existing local government customers and to enhance our ability to secure further wide-ranging strategic partnerships.”
UK-headquarterd Vertex, meanwhile, is now almost entirely an international business, serving primarily the US and Indian markets.
Vertex was embroiled in the Child Support Agency’s failed case management system upgrade in the last decade. In 2006, after the CSA’s EDS-built case management upgrade CS2 lead to an increased workload, it outsourced certain cases to Vertex. Questions were raised about Vertex’s performance in parliament, following complaints from the public.
A Freedom of Information Act request submitted to Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission, a quango set up to take over responsibility for child mainteance from the CSA, revealed that complaints about Vertex have dropped from 37,500 in 2007 to 23,000 in 2010, while the number of complaints handled has increased from 600 to 3,100.