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Grapevine: KKR, Baring PE Asia front runners for CitiusTech; OYO founder plans buyback
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Private equity major KKR and Baring Private Equity Asia have emerged as frontrunners for a controlling stake in Mumbai-based healthcare analytics company CitiusTech Inc., two persons in the know told The Times of India and The Economic Times.

If successful, the new investor will end up owning around 80% of the company, the persons added.

The deal is expected to value the company at $1 billion. CitiusTech was founded by technology entrepreneurs Rizwan Koita and Jagdish Moorjani along with their IIT batch-mate Bimal Naik in 2005.

Two other bidding groups are Goldman Sachs together with New Mountain, and homegrown ChrysCapital along with Canadian fund Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, the report said, adding that a final decision is expected later this week.

CitiusTech has earlier seen interest from GIC Pte. Ltd, Blackstone, Bain Capital, Apax Partners, CVC Capital Partners and ChrysCapital. In 2014, General Atlantic had picked up a stake in CitiusTech for an undisclosed amount.  

Meanwhile, Ritesh Agarwal, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of OYO Hotels & Homes, is in the midst of buying back shares from early investors Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners to bulk up his ownership from 10% to 33%, including the stakes held by the management and employees, three people in the know told The Economic Times.

To finance the buyback, Agarwal has been in talks with financial institutions and banks in India, Japan and Europe to raise $2 billion in secured debt by pledging his shares, the people added, asking not to be named.

The OYO founder, along with the management and employees, will emerge as the second-largest shareholder after SoftBank Vision Fund, which owns almost 48% of the company. Going by a standstill clause drawn up by OYO, the Japanese group cannot increase its ownership beyond 49.9% without receiving approvals from Agarwal and other financial investors.

Lightspeed owns 13.4% of OYO and has in all invested Rs 158 crore, while Sequoia has ploughed in Rs 165 crore and holds a 10.24% stake, the report said, citing Paper.vc.

Agarwal’s bid to regain a substantial stake in the company is the third such attempt by a SoftBank-backed founder in India after ride-hailing platform Ola’s co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal and online marketplace Snapdeal’s Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal.

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