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Serco acquires Listening Company

Date: 15 Mar 2011

Serco Group plc (Serco) today announces that it has acquired The Listening Company, a UK based provider of outsourced customer contact centre services to both private and public sector organisations, for an initial cash consideration of £42.1m which includes the repayment of £16.4m of debt. In addition, contingent payments of up to £13.8m are payable, conditional on the financial performance in the two year period from 1 March 2011 to the end of February 2013.

The Listening Company, an award-winning outsourcer, specialises in bespoke solutions for managing customer interaction ranging from customer acquisition to retention, renewal and growth and including advice and service. It operates across multiple communication channels including email, telephone and internet.

This acquisition adds significant contact centre expertise to Serco's current capabilities offered in the growing markets in local government and the private sector. The Listening Company's scale and expertise will strengthen our capability to deliver high volume call handling and frontline customer services. This capability will allow us to promote easier access to front line services as well as encouraging the migration to the use of lower cost channels, which will be a key component of our future proposition. We expect this to enhance our capability to deliver local authority transformation programmes and also to improve our market position for private sector work.

The Listening Company's revenue for the year to 31 October 2010 is expected to be £82m with underlying operating profit of £4.4m before one-off investment. Following full integration into our Local Government & Commercial division, we expect The Listening Company's operating margin to be at least in line with the Group's.

Christopher Hyman, Chief Executive of Serco Group plc, said: "This acquisition takes us to a new level of contact centre operation, expanding the services we offer to both the private and public sector as they seek to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their contact centre operations. It will not only enhance our offering in bids for local authority transformation programmes, an important part of their solution to the challenges in the UK, but also strengthen our private sector capability."

Ends

For further information please contact Serco:
Jill Sherratt, Interim Head of Investor Relations T +44 (0) 208 334 4122
Dominic Cheetham, Director of Corporate Communications T +44 (0) 208 334 4334
Marcus De Ville, Head of Media Relations T +44 (0) 208 334 4388

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Last Updated: 15 Mar 2011