Private equity firm ChrysCapital has sold almost its entire 2.7 per cent stake in telecom firm Idea Cellular for Rs 751 crore ($170 million) through an open market sale of shares on the stock exchange.

ChrysCapital held 2.7 per cent stake in Idea Cellular through an entity Monet Ltd, as of June 30, 2011. The company has sold 2.5 per cent of its holding on Thursday.

Idea Cellular is the fourth largest telecom firm in the country by gross revenue and is backed by private equity giant Providence and Telekom Malaysia. The Aditya Birla Group firm had acquired Spice Communications three years ago that added scale to its domestic operations.

The transaction comes at a time when telecom stocks have shot up over the past few days, based on the news of tariffs moving up. Idea Cellular scrip has moved up 20 per cent within a month. Idea’s scrip closed at Rs 90 a share, down 1.69 per cent at BSE on Thursday.

Bulk of the shares was acquired by First State Asia Pacific Leader Fund, which is part of the consolidated asset management business of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, managing £97.2 billion (as of March 31, 2011). ChrysCapital sold shares at Rs 90 per scrip.

Ashish Dhawan-led ChrysCap had invested around Rs 500 crore in Idea Cellular five years ago, before the initial public offer (IPO) of the firm. This was around the same time when Providence invested over $400 million in Idea Cellular in one of the biggest private equity deals in the country.

For ChrysCap, this may be yet another blockbuster exit. Last year, it had reportedly encashed around $400 million through the sale of shares of IT services giant Infosys.

Leave Your Comment(s)