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Investor Turns Up Heat on PeopleSupport

A hedge fund urges the company to consider a $15-a-share buyout bid.



is getting more deal pressure as its biggest investor has requested that the company welcome buyout offers.

The Galleon Group, a New York hedge fund with a 24% stake in PeopleSupport, has sent the company a letter urging CEO Lance Rosenzweig to consider a $15-a-share unsolicited buyout offer from a group led by Phillipines-based rival



The letter also urges the company to drop its so-called poison pill provision and solicit other offers in an attempt to bring in the highest price possible for the shareholders. Galleon founder Raj Rajarutnam also offers his firm's support in what he hopes becomes an auction process.

"We believe that given the substantial size of our investment in PeopleSupport and our existing relationships in the space, we can be instrumental in assisting PeopleSupport maximize shareholder value," Rajarutnam says in the letter filed with the

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Securities and Exchange Commission

late Wednesday.

The news comes less than a week after call center operator IPVG enlisted AO Capital Partners as its financial partner and adviser in a

hostile bid for PeopleSupport.

PeopleSupport is a customer support outsource shop headquartered in Los Angeles with operations in the Philippines.

A month ago, Galleon sent a letter to the PeopleSupport board urging the company to drop its anti-takeover plan put in place in August. The latest letter repeats that request and ends the note with a warning that further pressure can be expected.

"Rest assured," the letter says, "that we will not stand idly if this board fails to take the requested actions."

PeopleSupport shares rose 16 cents to $14.18 in midday trading Thursday.