Samara Capital, Ajay Relan's Xponentia acquire Spoton Logistics
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A consortium of investors led by mid-market private equity firm Samara Capital has bought Spoton Logistics Pvt. Ltd from its existing shareholders, a person privy to the development told VCCircle.

The buyers' group, which also includes Xponentia Fund Partners, acquired Spoton for about $100 million (Rs 700 crore), the person said, asking not to be named.

Prior to the transaction, PE firm India Equity Partners held a stake of around 98% in Spoton Logistics while the company’s management owned the rest.

Email queries sent to Samara Capital and Spoton Logistics didn’t elicit any response till the time of publishing this report.

Edelweiss Financial advised Spoton and India Equity Partners for the transaction.

The Economic Times, which reported the development earlier in the day, cited a top Spoton executive as saying that the company would continue to be run by its existing management and that it would add air express cargo next year for expanding its business. 

Bengaluru-based Spoton was formed in late 2011 when India Equity Partners bought the domestic road business of Dutch freight and logistics giant TNT Express in India. The PE firm has invested Rs 180 crore in Spoton, the report said.
Spoton Logistics was previously on the radar of another PE firm. In August 2017, VCCircle reported that homegrown PE firm True North was in discussions to buy a majority stake in Spoton.

Spoton’s consolidated net sales rose to Rs 370 crore for 2016-17 from Rs 304 crore the previous year. Its profit after tax rose to Rs 20.7 crore in 2016-17 from Rs 8.1 crore in 2015-16, according to VCCEdge, the data research platform of VCCircle.

Samara, Xponentia

Samara Capital was founded in late 2006 by former top Citigroup India executives Sumeet Narang and Gautam Gode.

Samara is investing out of its second fund. The PE firm had raised $263 million for its first fund and $300 million for its second fund. Last month, The Economic Times reported that Samara was looking to float a $550 million fund by the end of 2018.

The PE firm has made it to the headlines several times this year thanks to some big-ticket transactions it has struck or is planning. It is reported to be in talks to buy a majority stake in Aditya Birla Retail Ltd, which runs the More supermarkets.

Samara also struck its debut deal in the human resource management segment last month when it tied up with Goldman Sachs and Janchor Partners to acquire staffing firms Innovsource Services and V5 Global Services.

Xponentia was floated this year by PE industry veteran Ajay Relan, who co-founded private equity firm CX Partners in 2009 and stepped down in 2015. Relan joined hands with former Carlyle executive Devinjit Singh and former Citigroup Venture Capital executive PR Srinivasan for the new fund.

Logistics deals

The logistics sector in India has recorded several significant deals this year, as investors look to back companies benefiting from a rise in e-commerce and organised retail industries.

In January, Gurgaon-based tech-enabled logistics services provider Rivigo Services Pvt. Ltd raised Rs 322.5 crore ($50 million) in a Series D round from its existing investors SAIF Partners and Warburg Pincus. The round saw its valuation soar to near-Unicorn levels.

Also in January, logistics company Xpressbees raised Rs 225 crore (around $35 million) from Chinese internet giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

In February, Delhi-based RoboticWares Pvt. Ltd, which runs logistics management startup FarEye, raised Rs 61.53 crore ($9.56 million) from Singapore-based 23i Pvt. Ltd, an entity linked to Germany’s Deutsche Post DHL Group.

*This article has been updated to correct Spoton's sales and profit numbers.

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