Partners Group, the Switzerland-based private market investment manager with $33 billion under management, has acquired a majority stake in CSS Corp, a remote infrastructure management and technology support services company. The stake has been purchased for $270 million in a leveraged buyout deal which will give SAIF Partners, Goldman Sachs and Sierra Ventures an exit.
The deal also involves Sanjay Chakrabarty, a technology entrepreneur, picking up a minority stake in CSS.
Partners Group's $270 million investment is also one of the largest investments in India's information technology sector after Bain Capital's $1 billion deal with Genpact and KKR acquisition of Aricent for $900 million.
CSS has raised multiple rounds of private equity funding. SAIF Partners had invested $22.5 million in CSS in 2006, picking up the stake from Baring Private Equity India besides a primary investment into the company directly. Then in 2007, CSS raised a $25 million round led by Goldman Sachs. Venture capital firm Sierra Ventures also held a stake in CSS.
At the time it raised funding from Goldman, CSS bought all its group firms under one roof. These were Slashsupport, Synaptris and Ready Test Go.
Ravi Adusumalli, India head at SAIF Partners, confirmed that the deal would mean an exit for his firm. "Tiger Ramesh did a fantastic job of turning around the company and enabling a successful exit for shareholders. This coupled with our recent IPO for Just Dial made it possible for us to distribute over $200 million in proceeds to our investors," he told VCCircle.
Spark Capital acted as exclusive financial advisor to the selling shareholders - SAIF Partners, Goldman Sachs and Sierra Ventures. S&R Associates acted as legal counsel for Partners Group while IndusLaw advised the selling shareholders.
CSS provides a range of services, including mobility solutions, cloud enablement, technical support and remote infrastructure management to a blue-chip client base that includes some of the largest global technology companies. The company serves a client base in the US and Europe and has a large delivery presence in India, the US, the Philippines, Poland, Mauritius, Costa Rica and China.
CSS has service delivery centres in 13 locations worldwide and a team of over 5,400 professionals.
"CSS CEO ‘Tiger’ TG Ramesh has built around him a hand-picked team of executives from multi-billion dollar IT firms to drive a global expansion strategy. Partners Group will partner the company in this next phase of growth, in which the emphasis will be on the build-out of sales and the further expansion of the firm’s service footprint by adding delivery centres in new geographies," said a Partners Group statement.
The deal comes after Partners Group roped in Cyrus Driver to strengthen direct investment activities in India last year. Driver, who joined as a managing director based out of Singapore, earlier headed Helix Investments after which he joined Arka Capital.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)