Morgan Stanley kicks off buyer search for outsourcing group Probe

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Probe is majority owned by Australian private equity firms Quadrant Private Equity and Five V Capital.

The private equity backers are believed to be keen to see Probe and its bankers target financial buyers and trade buyers initially, rather than gear up for the ASX boards.

Listed peers

That said, there have been a handful of similar businesses that have listed offshore in recent years, including two in the first six months of 2021.

Those similar businesses include TaskUs, which debuted on the Nasdaq with a $US2.8 billion valuation in June and whose shares are now trading at 23-times trailing EBITDA.

There’s also TELUS International, another customer service business, which was spun out of TELUS Corp and Baring Private Equity Asia in North America at the start of this year. TELUS shares are trading at 24-times trailing EBITDA and 17-times forward earnings. Morgan Stanley was also joint lead bookrunner on that listing.

While it’s early days, Probe’s expected to fetch a mid-teens multiple, which means a $1.2 billion-plus sale price for its owners.

The potential exit comes only one year after Probe bought Philippine outsourcing agency MicroSourcing from ASX-listed marketing services group Salmat for $100 million and rival outsourcing outfit Stellar for about $300 million.

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