Private equity (PE) investments in India has fallen to its lowest levels since 2009 at $7.5 billion over 384 deals during 2013, against $9.2 billion investment made across 484 deals in 2012, according to data from investment research firm Venture Intelligence. The 18 investments of over $100 million during 2013 accounted for as much as 47% of the value pie during the year.
Even as overall investments declined, with 154 investments worth about $2.3 billion, IT and ITeS companies topped in terms of both investment value and volume during last year. According to Venture Intelligence, the year also saw PE firms willing to put serious bets on Indian IT products companies with Silver Lake Partners leading a $40 million round in commodities trading software firm Eka Software for the US-based PE firm’s inaugural investment in India.
The e-commerce sector also saw more than $500 million being invested with companies such as Flipkart and Snapdeal receiving big boost to their expansion strategy. Three deals from the IT sector found a place among the top five investments with the $443-million buyout of Hexaware Technologies by Baring Asia being the second-biggest PE investment of the year. The other two being the $420-million buyout of GlobalLogic by Apax Partners and the $270-million buyout of CSS Group by Partners Group.
The year also saw PE firms acquiring minority stake in IT firms rather than controlling stake that is usually the case.
For instance, Peepul Capital acquired a minority stake in online advertising firm Komli Media, while Sequoia Capital India invested $37 million in online restaurants reviews service Zomato Media by joining hands with the company’s strategic investor and majority owner, online classifieds firm Info Edge.
PE firm KKR’s $460-million investment in Alliance Tire Group was the biggest deal of the year. All the four largest deals of the year involved global PE investors buying majority stakes from existing investors.
While buyout deals accounted for less than 5% of the PE investments in volume, it accounted for as much as 27% of the value. Acquisition of minority stakes in listed companies accounted for 14% in volume terms and 10% in value terms.