Perk up in public markets aids PE exits in June 2013 quarter

Private Equity (PE) firms obtained exit routes for their investments in 29 Indian companies during the quarter ended June 2013, up 38 percent over the 21 exits in the same period a year ago, says data from Venture Intelligence, a research service focused on private company financials, transactions and valuations in India.

The exit volumes were also 21 percent higher than that in the in the immediate previous quarter which had witnessed 24 exits. Of the divestitures during the latest quarter, 21 represented complete exits; the remainder partial ones. Sale of shares in already listed companies, via public markets, accounted for nine exits during April-June 2013 compared to four in the same period in 2012; strategic acquisitions for seven, versus six in Q2 2012; secondary sales or purchases of shares held by one PE firm by another for six versus seven in Q2 2012, and buybacks for six compared to four in Q2 2012).

 Perk up in public markets aids PE exits in June 2013 quarter

The JustDial IPO marks the second successful Indian Internet play brought to the public markets by SAIF, following the Nasdaq IPO of MakeMyTrip in August 2010.

Internet and mobile-based local search firm JustDial accounted for the sole PE-backed Initial Public Offering (IPO) during the latest quarter, providing a healthy exit for its investors SAIF, Tiger Global, Sequoia Capital India and SAP Ventures whose sale of shares comprised over 80 percent of the Rs.927.37 crore ($167.11 million) issue.

The shares that gave JustDial a market capitalization of $667 million at an IPO price of Rs.530 were trading 20 percent higher at the end of this quarter. At the IPO price, SAIF was sitting on an over 10x return on its investment; Tiger Global, 7.3x; Sequoia Capital India, over 2x and SAP Ventures, 1.3x.

The JustDial IPO marks the second successful Indian Internet play brought to the public markets by SAIF, following the Nasdaq IPO of MakeMyTrip in August 2010.

PE investors successfully timed the run up in the markets between mid-April and end-May to exit few of their investments in listed companies. The largest public market sale fetching a complete exit was the sale of Rs.1,652 crore worth shares in truck finance firm Shriram Transport Finance (STF) by TPG.

Post this sale of its final 10 percent holding, TPG realized an over 6 times on its Rs.547 crore investment in STF starting February 2006. Another significant complete exit via the public markets during the quarter was that by Warburg Pincus from Havells India with an about 2.5x return on the Rs.484-crore investment it made in the electrical equipment and domestic appliances maker beginning in October 2007.

Among notable partial exits through this route, Apax Partners sold Rs.128 crore worth of shares in Apollo Hospitals during the the quarter, while ICICI Venture and Norwest began selling their holdings in NBFC firm Shriram City Union Finance.

Secondary Sale transactions during Q2'13 witnessed global funds - both old and new - making significant sized investments to buyout their peers. While Warburg Pincus was a seller (to KKR) in the $460 million buyout of the off-highway tires focused Alliance Tire Group, the same firm was a buyer of the 30% held by Actis in auto components firm Avtec. The $270 million buyout of the existing PE investors (SAIF, Goldman Sachs and Sierra Ventures) in IT Services firm CSS Group marked the first direct investment in an Indian company by Partners Group.

The strategic sale of online bus ticketing service redBus to South Africa-headquartered media group Naspers for a reported $100 million capped a good quarter for Venture Capital exits. Starting in Jul-2007, reBus had raised about $9.3 million from venture capitalists funds including Seedfund, Inventus Capital and Helion Ventures. Six out of the seven strategic sales were of VC-backed IT companies including that of online marketing services firm WebChutney, a sale by Capital18 to ad agency Japanese ad agency Dentsu, and the acquisition of another of Nexus Ventures' US-based portfolio company, mobile productivity apps firm Astrid by Yahoo. The sole non-IT exit via strategic acquisition was Turkey's Trakya Cam Sanayii acquisition of IFC's stake in glass maker HNG Float Glass for $12 million.

Real Estate

Private equity in the real estate segment witnessed five buybacks of investor stakes by developers or their promoters.

IL&FS Investment Managers (IIML) sold its stake in Bhartiya City, a 125 acre integrated township project in Bengaluru for Rs.325 crores. IIML had invested Rs 1500 million for a 26 percent stake in 2007 by way of compulsorily convertible preference shares.

Listed developer Godrej Properties bought back the stake held by HDFC PMS in two of its projects: in Chennai and Chandigarh. HDFC had held a 49.9 percent in the Chennai residential project named Godrej Palm Grove. HDFC PMS had invested Rs.55 crore in the project starting in March 2010. HDFC PMS had held 49 percent in the Chandigarh commercial project, Godrej Eternia. In March 2010, HDFC PMS had invested Rs.45 crores in this project.

Listed real estate firm Parsvnath Developers disclosed that it has repatriated Rs 34.56 crore to PE investor Sun Apollo from the Exotica Gurgaon residential project.

ICICI Prudential PMS exited its investment in Shriram Properties' Shriram Sahaana and Suhana residential projects in Bengaluru with an average return of about 24.5 percent across two of its funds.

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Updated Date: Dec 21, 2014 03:04:41 IST