Lloyds TSB Development Capital (LDC), the private equity arm of the UK-based Lloyds TSB, is drawing up an Asia strategy in which India will also figure prominently. LDC, one of the UK’s biggest private equity investors in small- to mid-sized companies, plans to set up an office in india, besides in Hong Kong and mainland China, reported UK’s Financial Times. Its objective is to help its portfolio of 60 UK-based companies expand in Asia, the report said.
LDC, which has £3 billion worth assets under management, is opening its Hong Kong office in the next few months, while it will look at India and China in the next two to three years. LDC may take an inorganic approach too by acquiring stakes in Asian private equity groups and also win the right to invest alongside it, the report said.
LDC has eight offices in the UK and, according to FT, it has an up to 10 per cent share of the market for buy-outs of businesses worth between £5 million and £250 million. The paper quoted Paul Johnson, international managing director for LDC, as saying that the presence in Asia will help their portfolio of UK-based companies to expand in Asia, while also exploring a sale to of its portfolio companies “to increasingly acquisitive Indian and Chinese groups looking to expand in the UK”.
There are not many European private equity funds that have presence in India except for Apax Partners, which has an on the ground team set up a couple of years ago. The others like Permira and CVC Capital Partners are yet to open up an office in India, although they are present in Asia per se. Apax, Permira and CVC have, however, built up a stroing presence in Europe and Asia before venturing out to Asia. LDC, on the other hand, is moving to Asia straight from the UK, which shows that the region is an attractive market compared to other developed regions like Europe and the US.