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Blackstone in talks to acquire VFS Global for $1bn

VFS Global is 90% owned by Swedish Private Equity and 10% by Kuoni Foundation

US-based asset management company Blackstone is reportedly in advanced talks to acquire Dubai-headquartered VFS Global, the world’s largest visa outsourcing company, for $1-1.2 billion, according to media report.

VFS Global is founded in India and it is a spinoff of Swiss travel group Kuoni. The company is 90 percent owned by Swedish private equity firm EQT and 10 percent by the Kuoni Foundation, Hugentobler Foundation and founder CEO Zubin Karkaria. Reports also suggest that the acquisition process is complete and the legal documentation is expected in the coming weeks.

VFS Global started as a Visa application services company for the US embassy in India in 2001 and currently operates in 143 countries across five continents. Last week, VFS Global revealed that as global travel restrictions are slowly being eased, data shows that people are opting for premium services for a safe and convenient travel experience.

This trend was seen after a significant increase in customers requesting for the Visa At Your Doorstep (VAYD), service offered by VFS Global. This service enables customers to complete their visa application submission process from the comfort of their homes or any other location of their choice.
This service enables customers to submit their application, enroll for biometrics, and get the passport couriered back to their location of choice.

Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group COO told the media, “Touchless travel with an enhanced focus on safety and well-being are key to customers today. The uptick in VAYD services is another great indication of changing customer preferences. With the digital consumer experience evolving rapidly, we foresee a higher demand for such premium services that enable our customers to prioritise safe travel.”

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