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Summit Partners looks to exit Krishidhan Seeds

Private equity firm Summit Partners is looking to exit its first investment in India in agricultural biotech firm Krishidhan Seeds, much before the traditional time period of five to seven years, according to sources privy to the development.

Private equity firm Summit Partners is looking to exit its first investment in India in agricultural biotech firm Krishidhan Seeds, much before the traditional time period of five to seven years, according to sources privy to the development.

The PE firm had invested $30 million (R135 crore) in Krishidhan Seeds in 2010. According to sources, the promoters of the firm will buy back PE?s stake for around R155-160 crore, to be raised through debt. The deal is expected to come through over the next one month.

As on September 30, 2011, Summit Partners holds 24.9% stake in unlisted Krishidhan Seeds whereas the promoters own the remaining stake. Sushil Karwa, the managing director of Krishidhan Seeds, however, denied that Summit Partners is planning to exit the company.

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According to data posted on the ministry of corporate affairs? website, for the one-year period between October 1, 2010, and September 30, 2011, Krishidhan Seeds reported a net loss of R3.77 crore.

Replying to FE queries, Amit Chaturvedy, the vice-president and director at Summit Partners, said, ?As regards to Krishidhan, I am afraid that a lot of the details are incorrect.?

In an email reply, the company said, ?This year, we have grown by over 30% and the current profits have enabled us to offset miniscule losses that we had in the last year.?

Some of the recent private equity exits in the agriculture sector include Citi Venture Capital?s exit in KS Oils for $0.65 million and India Agri Business Fund?s exit in ADM Agro Industries Kota & Akola. PE firms have invested $15 million across three deals in 2012 till date and $24 million across six deals last year, information provided by M&A, PE data provider VCCedge shows.

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