June 14, 2007
By Jim Stafford, The Oklahoman

When Virgo Capital was organized as a private equity company last year, managing director Hemanth Parasuram said the company would invest in mature companies that might need investment capital to expand their business operations.

Virgo made good on that mission Wednesday by announcing that it has bought Oklahoma City-based Accord Human Resources for an undisclosed amount. Accord has been ranked as one of the nation’s 10 largest privately-held professional employer organizations and listed four times on Inc. magazine’s list of America’s fastest growing companies.

“Accord is right in our sweet spot as far as the type of deals we want to do,” said Parasuram, who formed Virgo Capital in 2006 with partner Guhan Swaminathan and the backing of several Oklahoma businessmen.

“Established company, strong management team. From our perspective, one of the biggest criteria we look for is how well they serve their clients, and Accord is exceptional in that regard.”

Neither Parasuram nor Dale Hageman, Accord’s president and chief executive officer, would reveal financial terms of the deal, although Hageman is a co-investor as are McClendon Venture Co. and Records Private Equity.

Both McClendon Venture Co., whose principal investor is energy executive Aubrey McClendon, and Records Private Equity, whose principal is banking executive Jeff Records, are special limited partners in Virgo Capital, as well.

Virgo Capital and its partners bought their share of Accord from a group that includes some of the principals of Price Edwards & Co., the commercial real estate firm from which Accord was spun off in 1992.

Accord employs 60 people at its corporate office in downtown Oklahoma City and another 40 in sales offices in other cities, Hageman said.

It provides human resources services such as employee benefits, payroll management and workers’ compensation to about 11,000 employees for 500 client companies in 44 states.

“We’re big believers that human resources is a great area for outsourcing,” Parasuram said. “Obviously, Accord is a leader in that space.”

Hageman said that the buyout was accomplished to “take the company to the next level.” The deal doesn’t affect management or employees, other than to offer new “opportunities for growth,” he said.

“We’ve been around for 15 years; the business has grown substantially, and the real estate investors are more focused on real estate,” Hageman said.

“In order for us to take the company to the next level, it just makes sense for us to join up with a private equity firm that is interested and willing and has resources to invest in a growing outsourcing business.”