In a startling example of the exponential growth of the global call centre industry, CallCentric of the UK – born just three years ago - has acquired US technology veteran Datapoint, founded in 1968, for £38 million.

Datapoint was an early pioneer in the field of minicomputers and, later, call centre networks. It now specialises in setting-up call centres for corporate clients such as Churchill Insurance and Lloyds TSB bank, although of late its fortunes have declined, posting a loss last year of $7.5m on revenues of $140m – ninety-eight per cent of which derived from European operations.

The merged company, owned 40% by its management with the balance held by venture capitalists, will be headquartered in Windsor, Berkshire and trade as Datapoint. Says David Berger, CallCentric’s chief executive, who will lead the new operation: “With this deal we are acquiring an impressive client list and a business that complements our own.” The new company plans to float in Europe in 2003.

Sourced from: Financial Times