Providence Equity Partners scaling back India biz

Providence Equity Partners LLC is scaling back its operations in India to focus primarily on the US and Europe, a spokesperson for the global private equity firm said on Wednesday.

The spokesperson said also that the PE firm’s India head, Biswajit A Subramanian, is leaving to pursue other interests.

Subramanian had joined Providence in 2000 in London and set up its India presence in 2007.

The planned exit comes at a time when many large international PE funds are looking to deploy billions of dollars in India over the next few years.

Providence had made its debut exit from an Indian portfolio firm only last month when it sold the final tranche of its stake in Idea Cellular Ltd. It had first invested in the Aditya Birla Group telecom services provider in 2006, and made partial exits in 2014 and 2016.

Providence also holds stakes in telecom tower firm Indus Towers Ltd, Hathway Cable & Datacom Ltd, home shopping television venture ShopCJ and film distributor UFO Moviez India Ltd.

A person familiar with the PE firm’s plans said Providence is retaining its Delhi-based director Varun Laul to manage its remaining portfolio companies.

The Times of India first reported the PE firm’s plan to exit India.

Providence has sparsely invested in India over the past decade. Last year, Providence and Macquarie Bank Ltd, a unit of Australia’s Macquarie Group Ltd, had acquired News Corp’s stake in cable operator Hathway. News Corp is also the parent of this news website.

Providence has $50 billion in assets under management across private equity and credit businesses. Established in 1989, the firm has invested in about 160 companies. It focuses on the media, communications, education and information industries. It invests between $250 million and $2.5 billion in its portfolio companies.

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