Homegrown private equity players ChrysCapital and True North Managers LLP as well as others have invested around $150 million for a minority stake in QuEST Global which is a Singapore-based engineering solutions and lifecycle services company.
“The PE players along with other institutional investors have completed the purchase of a portion of the shares held by the co-founders and management team of QuEST,” the company said in a statement.
The latest transaction values the company at $1.8 billion.
“ChrysCapital has a strong track record of over 20 investments in the technology services sector, which has been an integral part of our portfolio across funds,” said Sudip Nandy, senior adviser, Enhancin, ChrysCapital.
Ajit Prabhu, chairman and CEO, QuEST Global, said, “Our focus will be to develop capabilities in hi-tech, software, digital segments along with other industries and help our customers solve their engineering challenges.”
O3 Capital acted as the sole financial advisor to the transaction.
ChrysCapital also recently decided to sell its stake in Silicon Valley-based digital and software services provider Infogain Co.
Singapore-based QuEST was co-founded in Bengaluru by Prabhu and Aravind Melligeri in 1997.
It is a global engineering solutions provider to companies in sectors including aerospace and defence, high tech and industrial, medical devices, oil and gas, power, and transportation.
The Quest group consists of QuEST Global Engineering, Quality Engineering and Software Technologies, Exilant Technologies, Mobiliya Technologies, QuEST Global Engineering Services, Synapse Design Inc.
QuEST has a workforce of over 11,000 people, of which around 7,000 are located across its nine centres in India.
The company had raised $6 million from Carlyle growth fund in 2003. The promoters bought back the stake four years later backed by a line of credit from ICICI Bank.
In 2016, US private equity firm Bain Capital, Singapore sovereign fund GIC Pte and US private equity firm Advent International invested $350 million (Rs 2,400 crore) to acquire minority stakes in QuEST from US private equity firm Warburg Pincus and other existing shareholders.
Three years ago, QuEST made around four global acquisitions including Munich-based Detech Fahrzeugentwicklung, Romania-based IT Six Global Services and Singapore’s Mobiliya Technologies.
In 2018, it had also acquired information technology firm Exilant Technologies Pvt. Ltd for an undisclosed sum.
Homegrown ChrysCapital, founded in 1999, is one of the largest and most established India-focused investment firms. It has raised $4 billion across eight funds and is currently investing out of its $900 million eighth fund. The firm has realized over $5.6 billion from more than 70 full exits and has fully monetized five successive funds.
Besides Infogain Co, the PE firm has expanded its investments in pharmaceuticals, agrichem and consumer product firms such as firms such as Corona Remedies, Safex Chemicals and WOW Skin Science India.
In a similar space as QuEST, last year Chryscapital re-invested in automotive engineering and mobility software company KPIT Technologies Ltd to pick up a 2.84% stake.
Meanwhile, Mumbai-based mid-market private equity firm True North has so far launched six separate investment funds with a combined corpus of $3 billion including co-investments. It typically makes investments in consumer, pharmaceuticals and financial services companies.
Earlier this year, it signed a definitive agreement with Bengaluru-based Anthem Biosciences Pvt Ltd to acquire a minority stake.
In February, True North recruited Kapil Singhal, a former KKR managing director, to head its credit platform.
Till last year, its sixth fund had made investments in Max Bupa Health Insurance Co., acquired Glenmark’s gynecology business, Zydus Wellness and a majority stake in Shree Digvijay Cement Co. Ltd. Its other investments include Fedbank Financial Services Ltd. Its other investments include biotech firm Biocon’s subsidiary.