SAIF Partners is picking up 2.8 per cent stake in software development firm Persistent Systems Ltd even as existing investor Norwest Venture Partners sold 4.6 per cent stake for Rs 90.4 crore ($16.5 million), of which 2.8 per cent was picked up by SAIF Partners.

SAIF Partners picked up the stake at Rs 490 per share, costing the venture and growth capital investor Rs 55 crore ($10 million). SAIF Partners has been active in market by buying stakes in companies like Mindtree, Indian Hotels Company, Havells and Thermax in the past. Most recently, it picked up shares in steel product manufacturer Pennar Industries and Blue Star Ltd, one of India's largest central air conditioning companies.

Shares of Persistent fell by 0.13 per cent on Wednesday, closing at Rs 490.9.

Norwest is making around 4.2x on its latest round of stake sale. After this transaction, Norwest will have over 2 per cent stake in the Pune-based company.

Last month, Norwest sold 5.01 per cent stake in Persistent for Rs 100 crore, followed by 1.25 per cent stake for Rs 24.5 crore earlier this month.

Established in 1990 by Anand Deshpande, Persistent provides outsourced software development services to its clients. It had raised two rounds of venture funding in 2000 and 2005, and was listed in 2010. The company recently acquired the cloud platform of US firm Doyenz.

Persistent reported 29 per cent increase in revenues to Rs 1,000 crore in FY12, with its profit after tax (PAT) remaining mostly flat at Rs 142 crore. For Q2 FY13, the company reported 37 per cent increase in revenues to Rs 327 crore, with PAT up 38 per cent to Rs 44.6 crore on a year-on-year basis.

(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)

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