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Business

Call center operator returning to TSE after a decade away

TOKYO -- Major call center operator Bellsystem24 Holdings is expected to relist on the Tokyo Stock Exchange later this year, ending a 10-year hiatus.

     The Japanese company plans to strengthen operations at home while cultivating new business in Asia and Europe. The launch of Japan's national identification number system next year will likely boost business for call centers.

     Bellsystem24 apparently filed a preliminary application with the TSE on Thursday and will likely be valued at roughly 150 billion yen ($1.2 billion) when it relists as early as November.

     The company is believed to have logged consolidated sales of about 110 billion yen for year ended Feb. 28. It dominates Japan's call center market along with such other major players as Transcosmos and Moshi Moshi Hotline.

     Bellsystem24 was originally owned by a predecessor to information technology services provider SCSK and in 2004 became a wholly owned subsidiary of an investment company affiliated with Nikko Cordial Securities, now SMBC Nikko Securities. It was delisted from the TSE the following year.

     Bellsystem24 underwent reforms under its next owner, U.S. investment firm Bain Capital. Bain sold a 49.9% interest to Japanese trading house Itochu in 2014.

     After the relisting, Bain plans to gradually shrink its remaining stake, leaving Itochu as the top shareholder. Bellsystem24 intends to work with Itochu Techno-Solutions to expand business.

(Nikkei)

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