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Multiples PE buys majority stake in PeopleStrong

03 April, 2017

Private equity firm Multiples Alternate Asset Management Pvt. Ltd has picked up a majority stake in Gurgaon-based PeopleStrong HR Services Pvt. Ltd for Rs 400 crore ($61.6 million).

VCCircle had first reported in January that PeopleStrong was in talks with PE firms including Multiples to raise Rs 300-400 crore.

The deal involved both primary and secondary investments, the HR services provider said in a statement on Monday. It added that it will use the primary component to strengthen its technology offering.

Multiples bought the entire stake of Lumis Partners and some other investors. Lumis had first invested in PeopleStrong in 2011 and then put more money to hold a 42.42% stake, according to VCCEdge, the data research platform of VCCircle.

Shelly Singh, PeopleStrong’s co-founder and chief business officer, told VCCircle that Multiples and mortgage lender HDFC Ltd will cumulatively hold about three-fourths of the company. Employees and the management will own the remaining stake, Singh said.

Multiples PE invested through its Private Equity Fund 2 and Plenty Private Equity Fund 1. Law firm J. Sagar Associates advised Multiples on the deal while investment Banking firm Lincoln International Advisors India advised PeopleStrong.

“Human resources is the single-most differentiator to create value in any enterprise, and as such occupies a central place in the minds of CXOs,” said Renuka Ramnath, founder and CEO, Multiples PE.

For Multiples, the deal adds to its diverse portfolio that also includes multiplex operator PVR, logistics company Delhivery, textile firm Arvind, Vastu Housing Finance Corporation and Indian Energy Exchange.

PeopleStrong, previous fundraising
The company has more than 1,000 employees and about 175 customers across industries. Its clients include Jubilant Foodworks, Domino’s Pizza, Subway, Cipla, Vistara, Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Citigroup, HDFC Life Insurance, Aviva Life Insurance and News Corp VCCircle. The firm claims to have an order book of Rs 500 crore and has been growing at a compound annual pace of 60% for over a decade.

In January, founder and CEO Pankaj Bansal had told VCCircle that the company was looking to raise funds for inorganic growth. “We aim to conclude our fundraising by early 2017-18 but the acquisitions will only happen around November or December 2017,” he said at the time.

The company, which was set up in 2005, has made three acquisitions so far. It acquired Lumis Partners-backed Integrated Learning Solutions Pvt. Ltd in 2013, Big Bytes Solutions Pvt. Ltd in October 2014 and Summit HR Frontline Business in 2011, according to its website.

PeopleStrong had raised capital from Deepak Parekh-led HDFC Ltd three-and-a-half years ago. It also previously raised funding from angel investors including former Genpact chief Pramod Bhasin and Aditya Birla Group’s Santrupt Mishra. Besides, it had mobilised capital from The HR Fund, which invests in HR startups; and Chicago-based venture fund AAA Global Ventures, according to its website.

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Multiples PE buys majority stake in PeopleStrong

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