Next sells third party customer service operation
Next has sold Ventura, its third party customer services operation, to Capita plc in a Â£65 million deal. The retailer said it would use the majority or all of the proceeds from the sale to buy back and cancel its own shares.
Earlier this year Next outlined the potential for £160 million of share buybacks in the current year and is now updating that guidance to £225 million.
The sale consideration is £65 million on a cash free, debt free basis, of which £63 million is payable in cash on completion.
For the year to date, Next has purchased and cancelled 7.9 million of its own shares at a total cost of £173 million, 4.36% of the shares in issue at the start of the year.
Ventura is the trading name of Club 24 Limited. In the year to January 2011 Ventura reported turnover of £156 million and operating profit of £8 million. The company employs around 8,000 people, primarily in Yorkshire, Cardiff, Milton Keynes and India. Next said it intended to continue using Ventura's services.
The sale does not include Next Directory's customer and account management services which are provided through the Next UK call centres.
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