Outsourcing and BPO giant Serco has put down £55.9m - including £16.4m of debt repayment - to acquire contact centre services provider The Listening Company.
The public sector ICT specialist, which has its fingers in a multitude of other pies, will also secure the services of former England rugby captain and current Listening Company sales director Lawrence Dallaglio.
The Listening Company, which provides phone, email and internet services to both the public and private sector, is expected to post sales of £82m and underlying operating profit of £4.4m in the fiscal year ended 31 October 2010. It employs over 4,000 people across the UK.
The firm will be folded into Serco's Local Government and Commercial division, and according to Serco chief executive Christopher Hyman will: "Not only enhance our offering in bids for local authority transformation programmes, an important part of the solution to the challenges in the UK, but also strengthen our private sector capability."