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Pitney Bowes to Divest PBMS North America to Apollo

Pitney Bowes is to sell Pitney Bowes Management Services (PBMS) North America  to Apollo Global Management LLC for ~$400m in cash. The transaction is expected to close in Q4 2013.

In May this year, Pitney Bowes announced it was selling PBMS in the U.K. and Ireland to Swiss Post Solutions (SPS) in a transaction that is due to close shortly.

Today's announcement marks the end of Pitney Bowes' attempt to build a document management services business. Ironically, document management BPO is a more promising market than Pitney Bowes' core business activities.

For PBMS in the U.S., becoming a standalone company should help in being able to position as an equipment-agnostic document services provider. Back in 2006, Apollo bought another document services provider Sourcecorp for $475m; PBMS adds both scale and some additional capability, for example in the legal sector.

In the U.K. SPS will be taking out a competitor that last year won a sizeable BPO contract with Santander. PBMS should be considered as a tactical, rather than a strategic acquisition. SPS has strong growth ambitions, in particular for IT-enabled document management BPO: will we see more investment activity at SPS in the next few years?

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