Private equity investors bring in deals worth $983 mn in January: Thornton

January was dominated by investments in start-ups which contributed to 52% of total investment volumes

Private equity (PE) investors announced deals worth $983 million in January, a 23 per cent rise in value terms over last year, driven by big ticket transactions, says a Grant Thornton report.

According to the assurance, tax and advisory firm, in January, there were 84 PE deals worth $983 million, against 81 such transactions worth $796 million in January 2017.

“Private equity deals recorded 4 per cent increase in deal volumes and 23 per cent increase in deal value in January 2018 as compared to January 2017,” said Pankaj Chopda Director at Grant Thornton India LLP.

January was dominated by investments in start-ups which contributed to 52 per cent of total investment volumes. On the other hand, energy & natural resources and real estate sectors witnessed big-ticket PE investment over $100 million together capturing 39 per cent of total PE deal values.

Altico Capital’s investment of $195 million across five realty projects in Hyderabad and Pune was the top PE deal in January.

Other major transactions include Canada Pension Plan Investment Board’s 6 per cent stake acquisition in ReNew Power Ventures for $144 million and Warburg Pincus and SAIF Partners’ $50 million investment in Rivigo Services.

Going forward, the PE deal outlook looks bullish especially for the start-up sector.

“Increasing customer penetration in online transactions and increasing solutions to simplify online transactions offered by start-ups will attract interest in start-ups engaged in retail, fintech, foodtech, on demand services and travel and logistics,” Chopda said.

“Government reforms such as RERA, focus on cleantech and on increasing digital financial transactions will drive the momentum in banking and financial, real estate and energy and natural resources.

India-specific strategies by global and already present PE firms and funds raised by new players will act as catalyst for PE transactions,” he added.

Source: Business Standard


PE fund multiples to raise $1 billion for resurgent India

India-focused funds together raised about $3.1 billion in 2017, according to Preqin data.

Multiples Alternate Asset Management, the private equity fund founded by former ICICI Venture CEO Renuka Ramnath, is set to raise as much as $1billion in what could be one of the largest capital-raising plans by a domestic asset manager.

The programme, which is expected to start in February, will target pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and university endowments in North America, Europe, the Middle East and South East Asia, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

The proposed fund will be equivalent to almost one-third of the capital raised by 29 India-focused private equity and venture capital funds in 2017.

The fund is being launched with appetite for long-term capital after a relative lull of almost a decade. Big-ticket asset owners such as pension and sovereign funds have started putting in money since last year, especially after Moody’s Investors Service upgraded India’s sovereign rating outlook, which lifted sentiment towards one of the fastest-growing economies.

Multiples raised its first fund of $400 million in 2011 and its second fund of $750 million in 2016. It has delivered an average internal rate of return (IRR) of 30% to investors, sources said.

The average net IRR of India-focused funds was 14% over the past 10 years, according to London-based data tracker Preqin, compared with the median net IRR of 11.9% across all Asia-based private equity funds of all vintages.

“Yes, we have already started discussions with our existing limited partners and are looking to start marketing roadshows from Febru-ary. We expect the first close by mid of this year and a final close by December,” said one of the two people.

Founded in 2009 by Ramnath, former managing director and CEO of ICICI Venture, the private equity arm of the country’s biggest private lender, ICICI Bank, Multiples manages close to $1billion assets, its website showed. It counts Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and other North American pension money managers and university endowments as its largest limited partners or investors.

These investors have already committed to the fresh fundraising. Some of the investments by Multiples include Arvind, Cholamandalam Investment & Finance, Indian Energy Exchange and RBL. Last January, the firm sold its 14% stake in India’s largest movie hall chain PVR to rival private equity fund Warburg Pincus for Rs 820 crore, making a return on more than three times on its four-year-old investment, in constant currency terms.

India-focused funds together raised about $3.1 billion in 2017, according to Preqin data. This is more than double the money raised by 18 asset managers in 2016. Last year, former Temasek India head Manish Kejriwal’s Kedaara Capital raised about $750 million for its second fund, while IDFC Alternatives raised $350 million.

PE fundraising slowed soon after the Lehman crisis with asset managers struggling to get out of their investments as valuations were rearranged, said the head of a large US fund in India. “The Moody’s upgrade and related strength seen in the economy and continued strong sentiment are expected to keep the India story intact,” he added.

Source:Economic Times


India: PE firm Nalanda Capital to raise $620m for third fund

Private equity firm Nalanda Capital has registered with the US market regulator Securities & Exchange Commission to raise $620 million for its new fund, according to an Economic Times report citing sources.
This will take the total corpus raised by the Singapore-resistered PE firm to $1.5 billion, the report said.
The new fund raise comes after five years as the company had raised $475 million for its second fund in 2011 and first fund of $400 million in 2007.
Nalanda Capital has built a large portfolio of India -based public-listed companies.
Some of its investments include in the companies like Just Dial, Lovable Lingerie, ELGI Equipments, TTK Prestige, Triveni Engineering and others.
Set up by ex-Warburg Pincus India managing director Pulak Prasad, the PE firm gradually raises its stake in the portfolio firms. Early this year, it had raised its holding in Mumbai-based Just Dial to 7.58 per cent.
Nalanda Capital also made some part-exits at the end of 2015 from companies like Lovable Lingerie and Triveni Engineering. The other PE firms which are focused on investing in public-listed companies, include ChrysCapital, Westbridge among others.
ChrysCapital has also closed first round of its seventh fund of $600 million in January this year. The PE firm had launched this fund in September last year and managed to raise $350 million by end of December as first round.

Last October, Westbridge Capital had also raised $575 million more to invest in Indian companies, as per a media report.

Private equity investors discover gold mine in e-commerce backend

Private equity investors, who have stayed away from investing in online retail companies, have instead quietly reaped a windfall by backing logistics companies providing back-end support in the e-commerce rush.

In the latest deal, Peepul Capital recorded an over six-fold return on its investment in Ecom Express according to people aware of the transaction. Earlier this year Multiples Alternate Asset Management also made a partial exit from Delhivery, when the company raised fresh capital led by Tiger Global Management.

“These kinds of returns are only possible if there is multiple re-rating of both a company and a sector, which is not very common,” said Prakash Nene, MD at Multiples, who declined to comment on specifics of the deal.

The PE firm made a partial exit after Tiger Global led a round of about Rs 542 crore in the Delhi-based firm in May.

Peepul Capital is estimated to have earned Rs 500 crore on an initial investment of Rs 80 crore in Ecom Express. The firm made an exit when the logistics firm raised fresh capital in a round led by Warburg Pincus according to two people privy to the details.

The returns have been even higher for early seed and angel investors in these two companies, which handle delivery for top online retailers like Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal.

According to filings with the ministry of corporate affairs (MCA), seed fund Oliphans Capital bought shares in Ecom Express at around Rs 70 per share in 2013. The fund is estimated to have sold some of these shares to Warburg Pincus during the investment round in June this year. Regulatory filings indicate Warburg — through its unit Eaglebay Investments — paid Rs 2,276 per share of Ecom Express; this would imply that Oliphans netted a return of over 30 times.

“It’s only logical that investment is also about exits,” said Anish Jhaveri, MD at Oliphans, declining to comment on returns made by his firm. “When we invested around $1 million in the company (Ecom Express) there were just four people in front of us who had just quit Blue Dart.”

Ecom Express was founded in 2012 by TA Krishnan, Sanjeev Saxena, K Satyanarayana and Manju Dhawan who had launched the e-tailing business at Blue Dart. The Delhi-based company expects to deliver goods in over 10,000 pin codes covering more than 1,500 towns and cities, across the country in the next few years.

The increasing interest in these companies is driven by the rapid growth in logistic support for online retail. A recent report on the Indian internet sector by brokerage IIFL estimates that the order volume for e-commerce shipments will increase 13x by 2020, with overall volume of e-commerce orders amounting to 2,000 tonnes per day.

Investors are of the view that just as tower companies gained in the telecom boom, the online retail rush will benefit from the back-end support companies.
“There are a lot of enablers which are important from a shadow driving perspective broadly similar to what telecom towers are to telco industry and EPC companies are to infrastructure,” said Sreeni Vudayagiri, investment director at Peepul Capital, a PE firm with $700 million under management which primarily invests in mid-sized consumption and manufacturing businesses.