CVC strikes debut India control deal with VC-backed UnitedLex
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Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners will pick up a majority stake in enterprise legal services firm UnitedLex BPO Pvt. Ltd in its first India deal.

The senior leadership of the venture capital-backed legal services firm will also re-invest in the company as part of the transaction, CVC said in a statement. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals.

“UnitedLex has a multi-billion-dollar opportunity ahead of it, with legal services being one the few remaining verticals that is early in the penetration curve of technology, consulting, and solution delivery,” said Siddharth Patel, senior managing director at CVC.

UnitedLex CEO Daniel Reed said CVC Capital has the geographical reach, sector expertise and capital to help it expand.

The firm didn’t disclose the value of the transaction. However, a previous report in The Economic Times had pegged the deal size at $200 million (about Rs 1,400 crore).

Law firm AZB & Partners advised CVC Capital on the transaction.

UnitedLex BPO was founded in 2006. It provides legal services to clients in 18 countries. It recorded net revenue of Rs 798.6 crore and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of Rs 100 crore for the year through March 2017, according to VCCEdge, the data research arm of VCCircle.

The deal will ensure an exit for UnitedLex’s investors Madison Capital, Helion Ventures and JP Morgan Asset Management. Helion had first invested in the company in 2006 whereas Madison bought a stake in the company last year from early investor Sequoia Capital, which had backed it in 2011.

JP Morgan Asset Management picked up a stake in UnitedLex after it bought the India portfolio of VC firm Canaan Partners in a secondaries deal. Canaan had invested in UnitedLex in 2008 and 2011.

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