While venture capital firms drove up private investment activity in the country, private equity firms didn’t have a quiet year either. PE firms and similar late-stage investors shelled out $17 billion across 336 deals in India, as per data collated by VCCEdge, the research platform of VCCircle.
Centerbridge Partners, Temasek, Carlyle, Blackstone, Apax Partners, Warburg Pincus and GIC were the biggest investors in India-related deals by value of announced transactions.
Here is a look at the most active PE firms of the year by volume:
The Singapore government’s investment arm inked more than a deal a month, reaching the top spot with 11 new investments and three follow-on investments (Mahindra & Mahindra, M&M Financial Services and Snapdeal). The new firms it added in its portfolio included Global Health (Medanta), Manthan Software, Oberoi Realty, Zomato, Sun Pharma, Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals and Glenmark Pharma, among others.
Temasek's sibling, which is run separately and is officially the sovereign fund of the city-state, has always been a big investor in India in the public equities market as a portfolio investor. In 2015, GIC added more shades to its PE investment wing while emerging as the king of realty investment in the country. GIC sealed seven new deals and made one follow-on investment, in renewable power firm Greenko. Bulk of its investments were in the real estate sector. Some other firms it backed include Bandhan Financial Services, Ola and Sulekha.
IFC and CX Partners
IFC, the World Bank’s private investment arm, vigorously invests in the country through a mix of PE-style equity deals, debt funding as also by becoming a Limited Partner for India-related PE funds. This year was no different as it inked half a dozen new deals in finance, education and real estate sectors.
Homegrown private equity firm CX, which had a forgettable maiden full exit from Monnet Ispat, kept busy with four fresh investments and two follow-on investments in existing portfolio firms Barbeque Nation and Transaction Solutions. It also participated in a consortium to buy a chunk of some franchisee outlets of KFC and Pizza Hut.
IDFC Alternatives, Everstone, WestBridge, PremjiInvest and IVFA
A bunch of other home-grown PE firms rounded up the top slots with IDFC Alternatives making fresh investments across construction, food and logistics firms; Everstone investing in Massive Restaurants, Sohan Lal Commodity Management, S. Chand & Company and SJS Enterprise besides buying out Hindustan Unilever’s bakery business.
PremjiInvest, Wipro founder Azim Premji’s personal investment arm, made fresh investments in ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, Hygienic Research Institute, Snapdeal, Jyothy Laboratories and L&T Finance Holdings. PIPE-focused investor WestBridge, which topped up its evergreen fund this year, added Ceat and India Shelter Finance to its portfolio besides putting more money in existing bets.
Buyout specialist IVFA, which raised $700 million in a new fund, made fresh bets on Cloudnine Hospitals, Magma Fincorp and restaurant chain Indigo besides putting in more money in taxi operator Meru and rolling over its investment in Atria Convergence to the new fund.