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MUMBAI : Global private equity major Blackstone on Thursday said it has signed a definitive agreement with EQT Private Equity and the Kuoni and Hugentobler Foundation (KHF) to acquire a majority stake in visa processing company VFS Global, the PE firm said in a statement.

EQT Private Equity will remain indirectly invested in the company with a minority position alongside Blackstone. Blackstone, as majority shareholder, and KHF, as minority shareholder, will be co-investors in the company following the closing of the transaction.

VFS Global is the global market leader in visa outsourcing services, headquartered in Zürich, Switzerland and Dubai, UAE. Founded by its current CEO, Zubin Karkaria in 2001, the company pioneered the professionalization of the visa market. It is now the largest provider of visa outsourcing and technology services to governments and diplomatic missions worldwide.

VFS Global services more than 60 client governments through 3,500 visa application centres in over 140 countries across five continents. Since its inception, the company has successfully processed over 230 million applications, and more than 100 million biometric enrolments.

"VFS spearheaded the visa outsourcing business and is today a global market leader, playing a crucial role in enabling access to travel for millions of people around the world in an efficient and secure manner. VFS’ local market expertise, unmatched global footprint and technology leadership makes the company a reliable partner to client governments across the world. We look forward to helping the company capitalize on the global travel recovery, accelerate its digitization journey, and expand into adjacent services to further accelerate growth and create value for all stakeholders," said Lionel Assant and Amit Dixit, Europe and Asia Head of Blackstone Private Equity.

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