GIC, Advent, Bain invest $350 million in engineering outsourcer QuEST

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte Ltd [GIC.UL] and private equity investors Advent International and Bain Capital have jointly bought a minority stake in engineering outsourcing firm QuEST Global Services for $350 million.

QuEST, which provides services to companies in sectors including aviation, automobile, oil and gas, power and healthcare, is headquartered in Singapore but more than half of its staff are located in India.

The private equity funds bought the stake from a unit of Warburg Pincus LLC [WP.UL] and other company shareholders, said QuEST, founded by former General Electric Co GE.N engineer Ajit Prabhu in 1997, in a statement.

Reuters reported in November that Advent and Bain were among bidders eyeing Warburg’s 20 percent of QuEST in a deal that could value the firm at $1 billion as investors bet on a pick-up in outsourcing demand for engineering services.

Outsourcing of engineering work by global corporations has risen rapidly in the past few years, as companies take advantage of the vast pool of engineers in low-cost locations such as India to cut costs and boost efficiency.

Indian engineering outsourcing services providers earned export revenue of $12.4 billion in the fiscal year ended March 2014, and that is expected to surge to as much as $45 billion by 2020, according to outsourcing lobby group NASSCOM.

Credit Suisse was financial advisor to QuEST on the transaction, the outsourcer said.

Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee; Editing by Christopher Cushing