Motherwell-based Ascensos secures Dutch acquisition

Motherwell-based contact-centre business Ascensos today announced its acquisition of a Dutch firm operating in the same field, saying this marks its first overseas expansion and addresses greater customer demand for multilingual services.

Ascensos managing director John Devlin. Picture: Alan Watson
Ascensos managing director John Devlin. Picture: Alan Watson

The Scottish company, which has more than 500 employees, said its purchase of HECC will enable it to grow its business into new industry sectors and geographic territories.

It also said the deal, terms of which were not disclosed, “reflects the continuing growth of Ascensos, which is already one of the UK’s fastest-growing outsourced contact centres”.

Ascensos said its clients are “increasingly requesting larger teams of advisors able to deliver services in multiple languages across different countries”

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HECC, which it noted has 70 staff across Boxtel in the Netherlands and Bucharest in Romania, will give it “this added capability as well as a base of operations with which to expand into Europe”.

The Scottish firm was established in 2013 by call-centre-industry veteran Dermot Jenkinson, John Devlin and Katrine Young, who formed the team behind Airdrie-based customer care provider BeCogent, which created 3,000 jobs and worked with clients including John Lewis, Sainsbury’s and Virgin Media.

Jenkinson, executive chairman at Ascensos, said: “This is a strategically important acquisition that will allow us to extend our reach into Europe and offer our clients a broader range of high-quality, multi-lingual solutions.

“HECC has an impressive list of clients and we are very optimistic about developing our combined, wider business in the period ahead.”

Ascensos said the Dutch business was established in 1994, providing technical, social media and product support in 12 different languages to mainly Western European clients in the consumer goods and IT sectors, as well as those based in Eastern Europe and South America.

HECC chief executive Hans Jansen said: “I am excited about our new relationship and am looking forward to challenging opportunities and growing together with Ascensos.”

The latter firm said it provides bespoke and specialised multi-channel customer contact solutions, including social media customer engagement, insights and analytics to a range of blue-chip clients.

It highlighted contract wins with the likes of Karen Millen, Argos, Oasis and ScottishPower, and combines traditional customer service engagement methods with next-generation digital technology.

Ascensos announced in July that it was to grow its workforce by more than 300 and open an office in Clydebank, after winning a multi-million-pound deal with DIY retailer B&Q to cover all its customer-service channels including a “ground-breaking” social media customer engagement project.