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Private Equity investment in India up 20% in March quarter

Private Equity firms invested about $2,646 million across 124 deals during the quarter ended March 2015, according to early data from Venture Intelligence, a research firm focused on private company financials, transactions and their valuations.

The investment amount was 20% higher than that invested in the same period last year ($2,212 million across 132 transactions), but 36% lower than the immediate previous quarter (which, on the back of blockbuster deals in E-Commerce companies had witnessed $4,120 million being invested across 112 transactions).

The numbers exclude PE investments in Real Estate.

There were six PE investments worth $100 million or more during Q1’15 compared to four such transactions in the same period last year and eight during the immediate previous quarter, the Venture Intelligence analysis showed.

venture

The largest investment during Q1’15 was IFC’s $260 million commitment to microfinancier-turned-bank license holder Bandhan Financial Services. Another microfinance firm Ujjivan Financial Services attracted a $100 million (INR 600 crore) investment from a clutch of investors including CDC Group, IFC and CX Partners.

Two large hospital operators – Manipal Health Enterprises and Medanta Medicity – attracted $100 million plus rounds. While Manipal attracted INR 900 crore ($150 million) from TPG Capital, Medanta attracted INR 700 crore (about $114 million) from Temasek (via a secondary purchase from Punj Lloyd).

The largest E-Commerce deal reported in Q1’15 was the $100 million fourth round raised by ShopClues.com led by Tiger Global (a key investor in rival Flipkart).

The Power sector too witnessed a return of interest with IDFC Alternatives committing INR 500 crore (about $81 million) to an SPV of Diligent Power executing a 1,200-Mw thermal power project in Chhattisgarh and Actis announcing a SPV of its own – Ostro Energy – to focus on renewable power projects.

Transactions like Carlyle’s buyout of financial services firm Destimoney (from erstwhile majority owner New Silk Route) as well as Ujjivan (in which half of the investment went to exiting investors including Sequoia Capital India) marked a return of significant sized secondary transactions between Private Equity firms.

While IT & ITES companies accounted for 32% of the value pie (attracting $836 million across 71 deals) during Q1’15, BFSI (Banking, Financial Services and Insurance) companies followed closely at 31% (attracting $816 million across 12 deals).

They were followed by Healthcare & Lifesciences companies ($392 million across nine transactions) and Energy companies ($207 million across 6 transactions).

The Venture Capital segment (defined as investments of up to $20 million in companies that have been active for less than 10 years) accounted for 68 of the PE transactions or 55% of volume pie during Q1’15. Late Stage companies (including mature companies like Bandhan, Manipal Health, Medanta and Ujjivan) attracted 27 investments and accounted for 45% of the pie in terms of value during the period.

Listed company investments (“PIPE” deals) accounted for 8% of the pie in value terms (and 6% in volume terms). Venture Capital investments of Q1’15 were dominated by follow-on rounds in companies like online video content firm Culture Machine ($18 million round led by Tiger Global), food ordering app Tinyowl ($16.25 million led by Matrix Partners India) and QSR chain Faasos ($16 million round led by Lightbox).

Listed companies that attracted PE investments too were topped by BFSI companies like Magma Fincorp (INR 500 crore or about $80 million from India Value Fund, Leapfrog and KKR) and M&M Financial (about $42 million from Temasek).

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