Thursday, April 8, 2010

Ibrahim Hussain buys Beukhen

By Habhajan Singh Ibrahim Hussain, the single biggest shareholder of Modular Techcorp Holdings Bhd which he took private in 2008, recently bought the region's largest debt collection agency, Beukhen International.
Industry sources say that the price tag for the sale was between RM30 million to RM40 million. When contacted, Ibrahim said that the agency, which now has some RM3 billion asset under management, will be transformed from a debt agency to a full-fledged debt acquisition company.
"Essentially, we buy over debts from banks. What this firm is now is very different from what it was just 12 months ago," he told The Malaysian Reserve.
Recently, he said that the agency had bought over some RM1.4 billion debts from financial institutions, which he did not name. When contacted, an owner of another debt collection agency told The Malaysian Reserve that the entry of the new face into the industry shows the keen interest people have in the already 'crowded sector'.
"They are leveraging their banking connections. They see money to be made there," he said. On the local front, some of the larger debt collection outfits, in terms of manpower, are Kudrat & Partners, Zuri Group, PNA Smart Solutions Sdn Bhd, Deblect Sdn Bhd, Global CMC and Galatrack Sdn Bhd.
Beukhen International, which provides receivables management and contact centre outsourcing services with offices in a number of countries including Malaysia, Singapore and Philippines, was founded by Jarnail Singh Gill, one of pioneers on the local debt collection scene. He then moved to New Zealand where he began Flo2Cash Ltd, a provider of payment processing services and solutions.
Check on its Flo2Cash website states that Flo2Cash, 'established in New Zealand in 2003 and is 100% NZ-owned and operated', is a member of the Beukhen International group.
However, it could not confirmed if Ibrahim's scoop of the large debt collection agency also comes with the New Zealand outfit.
Asked why he made the inroads into debt collection, Ibrahim said the recent financial crisis saw the proliferation of debts, bringing with its opportunities.
Information on its website states that Flo2Cash's services enable businesses to streamline their payment processes to improve cash flow and reduce operating expenses. It claims Flo2Cash employs the latest technologies and works with all major banks and credit card issuers to offer 'the greatest variety of payment channels' within New Zealand.
It also provides customers with the means to make payments through a variety of channels, so that bills are 'easily managed and shopping can be done with the full confidence of financial security'. When asked why he made the move on Beukhen International, Ibrahim said: "We see huge debts."
The new owners of Beukhen International will unveil its corporate identity today.

(The Malaysian Reserve, 1 April, 2010)