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Everstone Group invests $33.5M in Hinduja Leyland Finance

Everstone, a Singapore-based India- and Southeast Asia- focused investor with approximately $2 billion under management, has signed an agreement to invest Rs 200 crore for an undisclosed stake in Hinduja Leyland Finance (HLF), a commercial vehicle (CV) financing arm of the Hinduja Group.

The Chennai-headquartered NBFC is jointly owned by Ashok Leyland and other entities of the Hinduja Group.

HLF, which began operations in March 2010, is one of a few large financiers of commercial vehicles with assets under management in excess of Rs 4,000 crore. It is led by S Nagarajan, who had previously led Ashok Leyland Finance and IndusInd Bank.

Atul Kapur, co-founder and managing partner of the Everstone Group, said, “We are excited to partner with the Hinduja Group which has built a very attractive and professionally managed business in a sector where it has a track record of success.”

R Seshasayee, chairman of HLF, said, “We found a partner who shares the same vision as the promoters for the growth and development of HLF, as a significant and profitable player in NBFC space.”

Ernst & Young and Spark Capital were the advisors to the transaction.

The company said that it is leveraging its rural and semi-urban presence to finance other assets, including, two- and three-wheelers, autos, construction equipment and tractors.

Everstone invests in manufacturing, retail, construction, food and beverage, entertainment, media, healthcare, telecom, infrastructure, finance and real estate sectors.

Earlier this year, Everstone Capital management invested $41.01 million (Rs 2.2 billion) in New Delhi-based Transpole Logistics Pvt. Ltd. for an undisclosed stake through a fresh issue and secondary sales by Fidelity Growth Partners India.

In December, 2012, Horizon Realty LLC, a fund managed by Everstone Capital Management, invested an undisclosed amount in Hyderabad-based Necklace Pride, a residential cum retail project developed by Salarpuria Group, for an undisclosed stake.

Everstone's investments include SohanLal Commodities, IndoStar Capital, S Chand & Company, Sula, VLCC, Blue Foods and Transpole Logistics.

According to analysts, the commercial vehicle segment, which was seeing some hiccups in growth numbers, is seeing a turnaround, largely driven by the belief that fleet utilisation/operator profitability (as evidenced by trends in freight/diesel ratio) are at levels from where historic rebounds have been sharp.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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