Next offloads its Ventura arm to Capita for £65m

NEXT has sold its third party customer contact arm in a deal worth £65m.

The retailer offloaded Ventura to the outsourcer Capita.

Next said it would use the proceeds of the sale to buy back and cancel its own shares.

Earlier this year, Next outlined the potential for £160m of share buybacks in the current year. It has now updated that guideline to £225m.

Ventura manages more than 50 million customer contacts each year for a range of additional private and public sector clients.

The sale consideration is £65m on a cash free, debt free basis, of which £63m is payable in cash on completion.

In the year to January 2011 Ventura reported turnover of £156m and operating profit of £8m.

Capita said the acquisition would increase its capacity for customer management services.