KKR may exit Aricent; Clix Capital eyes stake in Catholic Syrian Bank
Photo Credit: Manni Das/VCCircle

Private equity giant KKR is in talks with prospective buyers to sell its California-based design and engineering company Aricent Inc. for $1.5 billion, said media reports.

According to The Economic Times, KKR has initiated talks with private equity firm Silver Lake Partners and global IT major Accenture.

An unnamed person told Mint that though KKR was engaged in talks with other private equity investors and strategic buyers, the chances are high for the global strategic investors.

The PE firm, which has a 79% stake in Aricent, had given the mandate to investment bank JP Morgan to scout for a buyer.

Aricent is a successor to Hughes Software Systems, which was founded in 1991 as a research and development subsidiary of DIRECTV-owned Hughes Networks Systems.

In 2004, Flextronics had acquired a majority stake in Hughes Software Systems. Two years later, KKR had picked up a big chunk of Flextronics’ holdings in the company, along with Sequoia Capital, to mark one of the largest leveraged buyout deals in the US. The firm was then renamed as Aricent.

In September 2008, Aricent had raised fresh funding from KKR and Bahrain-based The Family Office. One year later, KKR and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board had acquired Flextronics’ remaining stake in the company. This remains to date the oldest Indian portfolio firm for KKR.

In 2015, Aricent had acquired Bengaluru-based chip design services firm SmartPlay Technologies for an undisclosed amount.

Clix Capital

Clix Capital is in talks to invest Rs 600-800 crore in Kerala-based private sector lender Catholic Syrian Bank, The Economic Times reported.

An unnamed individual told the daily that the bank was in the process of raising capital through a preferential issue and Clix will seek permission from the Reserve Bank of India as it is keen to buy a significant minority stake in the bank.

Catholic Syrian Bank’s managing director CVR Rajendran confirmed the development, saying that it was in talks with Clix Capital during the road shows.

The development comes after negotiations between the private-sector lender and Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings hit a roadblock.

Gugaon-based Clix Capital was formed following the acquisition of the commercial lending and leasing business of GE Capital in India. AION Capital Partners, a joint private equity fund sponsored and run by Apollo Global and ICICI Venture, had backed Pramod Bhasin and Anil Chawla in buying the business. It was then rebranded as Clix Capital.

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