NYSE-listed IT services co Iron Mountain sells 45% in Indian arm to Samara Capital

Private equity firm Samara Capital has acquired 45 per cent stake in Iron Mountain India Pvt Ltd from its US-based parent for an undisclosed amount, the company said on Wednesday. 

This marks another unique transaction where a multinational firm has brought in a PE investor as an equity partner for its India business. In the past one year, Lafarge roped in Baring Private Equity Asia as an investor in its Indian arm and Burger King partnered Everstone Capital in its Indian foray (read more on such unconventional PE deals here).

NYSE-listed Iron Mountain Inc, is a leading provider of storage and information management services. Founded in 1951, Iron Mountain stores and protects billions of information assets, including business documents, backup tapes, electronic files and medical data.

In 2006, Iron Mountain Inc joined forces with Mody Access Info Pvt Ltd and its associate, Indexinfo Services Pvt Ltd, to establish Iron Mountain's presence in India. Iron Mountain acquired a 50.10 per cent equity interest in the business and the combined entity. Mody Access Info was renamed Iron Mountain India Pvt Ltd.

It has 16 facilities across Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata and employs more than 1,600 professionals.

Iron Mountain India has 4.5 million cubic feet of records and more than 250,000 data tape cartridges under storage and serves more than 850 customers, including leading banks, telcos, insurance companies and other companies.

Globally, Iron Mountain has more than 156,000 customer accounts, which includes more than 95 per cent of Fortune 1000 companies. The firm has a market cap of $6.5 billion.

"India presents an exciting growth opportunity for our company. We have partnered with them (Samara) not for their capital but rather their local knowledge and entrepreneurial skills, which we believe will allow us to greatly accelerate our growth in both the public and private sectors," said William Meaney, president and CEO of Iron Mountain.

“We are seeing rapid adoption of such services in India as businesses increasingly realise the importance of mitigating legal and brand risks; complying with regulation; and managing information in a more cost-efficient manner,” said Manish Mehta, managing director of Samara Capital.

Samara, founded by former Goldman and Citigroup executive Sumeet Narang, prefers to invest in consumer products, services & retail; IT & BPO; financial services; pharmaceuticals & healthcare services; infrastructure, including power, telecom and roads etc. The PE firm manages close to $500 million across two funds. It has so far invested close to $300 million in India across 15 companies.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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