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Citigroup Venture Capital International Exits HT Media, Lupin

22 May, 2009

Now it’s Citigroup Venture Capital International (CVCI) time to cash in on the rally. CVCI, the private equity arm of Citigroup, has sold stake in two more of its public portfolio investments in the latest such deals. India’s PE veteran has now sold most of its stake in both drugmaker Lupin and HT Media. This comes on the backdrop of a buoyant stock markets, which have lifted since election results were declared. CVCI has also recently sold stake in Techno Electric & Engg Company Ltd.

The Sensex has risen from 8,160 points on March 9 to closing at 13,887 points today. Several funds have like ChrysCapital, Standard Chartered Private Equity (SCPE), IL&FS Investment Managers, etc. have used the current rally since March to sell stake in firms.

VCCircle could not reach PR Srinivasan, CVCI India head, as he was traveling. Vivek Chhachhi, a vice president at CVCI, refused to comment for the story.

The private equity firm has exited most of its stake in HT Media, which publishes newspapers like Hindustan Times, Hindustan and Mint. CVCI sold a 3.11% stake in the firm on Thursday for Rs 68.55 crore. The buyers of the stake included hedge fund Sandstone Capital and Reliance Life Insurance Co. The sale was done through two trades. Whereas in one trade the shares were sold for Rs 86.26, in the other they were sold for Rs 100. The difference in the share prices on the

same day reflect the volatility that the Indian markets are witnessing.

CVCI had invested a total of Rs 57.5 crore in HT Media in two tranches in late 2004 and then again in 2005. It had picked a little more than 7% stake and HT Media went for an IPO in late 2005. The company later went for a stock split in 2007, which makes the average share

acquisition price for CVCI at Rs 39. The stock closed at Rs 108.2 at end of trading today, up by more than 10%.

CVCI has also sold a 1.38% stake in Mumbai-based drug maker Lupin Ltd on Wednesday. The stake has been sold at Rs 835.05 a piece, aggregating to Rs 96.03 crore. CVCI had bought a stake in 2003 from the promoters of the firm. CVCI had acquired a 12.55% stake or a little more than 5 million shares in the firm for Rs 125.9 crore, bringing the average acquisition price to Rs 250.

The stake was held by two entities –  Citicorp Banking Corporation and Citicorp International Finance Corporation. After this sale, the stake held by CVCI in Lupin stands at around 1.4%. It has earlier netted around Rs 186 crore through selling the rest of its stake. It sold roughly half of its stake in June last year at share price of around Rs 705-707. It has so far netted a little more than Rs 281 crore of its initial investment of Rs 126 crore.


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Citigroup Venture Capital International Exits HT Media, Lupin

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