Funds affiliated with Blackstone have sold their balance 20.5 percent stake in Tier 1 automotive supplier Sona BLW Precision Forgings (Sona Comstar), one of the leading global providers of automotive technology solutions. Before today’s transaction, Aureus Investment and Blackstone held 33 percent and 20.5 percent respectively in Sona Comstar as the auto technology company’s co-promoters.
The stake sale has happened via bulk deals in the open market, which saw strong demand from Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs), Sovereign Wealth Funds, Domestic Mutual Funds, and Insurance companies. Marquee investors like the government of Singapore, Fidelity, FMR, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, and HDFC MF bought shares from Blackstone in the bulk deal.
Sona Comstar is a leading global supplier of driveline solutions for battery electric vehicles (BEV), passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, and off-highway vehicles. It is also a leading traction motor and motor-controllers supplier for the electric two-wheeler segment.
The company was formed by the merger of Sona BLW and Comstar Automotive in 2019. Since then, it has invested significantly in technology, software, capex, and people, focused on the electric vehicle segment, completed technological partnerships and strategic acquisitions, and became India’s largest EV component supplier.
Amit Dixit, Head of Blackstone in Asia, said, “Blackstone is blessed to have been part of the Sona Comstar journey for the past five years. Sunjay Kapur has been a terrific partner to us and minority shareholders. The management team led by Vivek Vikram Singh has done an outstanding job in building one of India’s largest electric vehicle component suppliers. The company’s strategy is well set with a strong order book and business development function, its focus on innovation and new technology, and building on its excellent engineering capabilities. It will continue to be a leader in its segment and is well-placed to play an important role in the global transition to greener and safer mobility. We will always be a supporter and seek to collaborate and partner with the company going forward as we continue to evaluate investments in the energy transition theme.”
Sunjay Kapur, Promoter and Non-Executive Chairman, Sona Comstar said, “I am glad to have partnered with Blackstone and very happy that this has been a successful investment for them. They helped recruit global experts to the company’s board and enabled the company to go public last year with their capital markets expertise. Moving forward, our focus remains on providing innovative products and solutions to our customers and creating value for all our stakeholders.”
“We are delighted to welcome new marquee investors who are aligned with our mission and in the prospect of long-term shareholder wealth creation. I have complete faith in our management team which is dedicated to driving our business forward,” added Kapur.
Vivek Vikram Singh, MD & Group CEO, Sona Comstar said, “We thank Blackstone for their support and guidance over the last five years. As we move forward, we remain committed to our strategic priorities and are confident in our ability to continue delivering value for all our stakeholders. With twin megatrends of electrification and automation in the automotive industry, we are well-positioned to capture growth opportunities by remaining focused on our core values. We have a strong team in place, and we will continue to drive our business forward with the same dedication, focus, and energy that has characterised our journey so far.”
Ganesh Mani, MD, Blackstone said, “We wish to thank the management team and Sunjay for the value creation and partnership. The company has strong financial metrics making it the only company in the Indian public large-and-mid-cap universe with more than 20 percent metrics across revenue growth, EBITDA margin, and RoE consistently in the last five years. We are confident that the company will continue to enjoy success and wish them the very best.”