BPO firms seek debt restructuring, more credit lines

BPO companies are looking at debt restructuring and securing additional credit lines in order to survive the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Call centre companies are reportedly finding it difficult to shift to a work-from-home model due to limited infrastructure available and clients not being keen on allowing private and sensitive data to be accessed externally.

US-listed firm Startek said it is in talks with lenders to restructure its debt, which sits at over US$130 million as of December 2019. Aparup Sengupta, executive chairman and global CEO at Startek, said he will not accept any cash compensation for the remainder of the year to mitigate the financial impact of the health crisis.

Sengupta has not received compensation in any form since his appointment in January. To bolster its finances and survive crisis contingencies, Teleperformance said it is in the process of adding more credit lines for over EUR700 million (USD761 million), aside from undrawn facilities for EUR500 million currently available.

According to the company, 50% of its employees are currently working remotely, and it plans to switch 66% of the headcount to work-from-home mode by mid-April.

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