Henderson Equity Partners has made a partial exit by selling 1.84 per cent stake in HT Media Ltd, the publishers of the English daily Hindustan Times and the business newspaper Mint, for Rs 71.2 crore. The private equity firm, which first invested in HT Media in March, 2004, is set make over 4x returns on its seven-year-old investment.

Henderson, through HPC (Mauritius) Ltd, sold the shares at Rs 165 per scrip on the exchanges, as against its closing price of Rs 159.20 on Friday, July 29. The share price of HT Media was trading at Rs 161.55, up 1.48 per cent, on Monday morning.

Henderson still holds around 4.2 per cent stake in HT Media.

Earlier this month, HT Media reported 23 per cent increase in revenues at Rs 496.9 crore, with net profit up 24 per cent at Rs 51.5 crore for Q1FY12. The company has also recorded the highest ever earnings before interest, depreciation and amortisation (EBIDTA) at Rs 104.9 crore, growing 22 per cent from the Rs 85.7 crore during the same quarter last year.

Henderson had first invested in HT Media in 2004 and pumped in a total of Rs 117.5 crore in three tranches, between 2004 and 2005, according to VCCedge, the financial research platform of VCCircle. Citi Venture Capital International had also invested in HT Media along with Henderson, but it exited in 2009.

Henderson sold 5 per cent stake during HT Media’s IPO in 2005 for Rs 125 crore (thereby getting its principal back) and has started cutting its stake since last year.

With the current stake sale, it has mopped up Rs 315 crore on its investment. Henderson’s remaining stake of around 4.2 per cent is valued at Rs 160 crore as per HT Media’s closing price on Friday, taking the total exit value at over Rs 475 crore.

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