Softbank Asia Infrastructure Fund (SAIF) Partners is exiting its three-and-half-year-old investment in Jindal Poly Films through the buyback offer of the company. SAIF picked 6.6% by investing around Rs 56 crore out of the $650-million fund it raised in June 2005.

It had picked 1.87 million shares at around Rs 300/share. The firm has sold around two-thirds of it back to the company which announced a fresh buyback offer in August this year. The repurchase of shares in the previous buyback offer had pushed up SAIF’S holding to over 7.5%.

SAIF has sold around 1.35 million shares at price range of Rs 315-320 over the last four days through bulk deals at NSE and, looks like, it is completely on the exit mode. At this price level, it would have cashed out with 5% returns in three-and-half-year-old investment (without factoring in dividend earnings).

What would be interesting to see is whether Jindal Poly Films continues to buy back shares from SAIF at above par level. The debt crisis in Dubai, which has led to another mini meltdown in the Indian bourses, has brought down Jindal Poly Film’s scrip to Rs 308 at BSE, marginally above the cost of acquisition for SAIF.

For SAIF, Jindal Poly Films was the first transaction in the manufacturing sector in India and would mark yet another exit for the PE firm which recently sold off its investments in IT services firm MindTree and engineering firm Thermax Ltd, pocketing over 2x in both deals.

As against Jindal Poly Films where it struck the deal through an off market transaction, SAIF had picked up the stake in these two firms from open market over the last one year. SAIF has also picked up stakes in electrical equipment company Havells India and Indian Hotels Company since last year.

SAIF also has investments in Kolkata-based vocational training institute ICA Infotech, telecom solutions provider One97 Communications and Network 18 Media & Investment Ltd, the holding firm of the Raghav Bahl-promoted Network18 group, among others.

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