It could be one of the fastest exits for a private equity firm in India. Sequoia Capital India, the venture and growth capital investment firm, invested about $25-30 million in Nasdaq-listed Cognizant Technology Solutions about eight months ago. Very recently, the fund exited the investment at 2.1x. The firm had picked up the stake through open market transactions for $25-30 million around eight months ago.
Cognizant is an information technology services and consulting company with headquarters in New Jersey, United States and with significant operations in Chennai, India.
Sequoia has been aggressively cherry picking stocks from open markets since the financial markets crashed post-Lehman Brothers bankruptcy. Since the revival earlier this year it has also started exiting some of these investments.
It invested $9.3 million in Hyderabad-based Nagarjuna Construction Co. Ltd, and exited the investment at $22.3 million in May. Sequoia's managing director Sumir Chadha told Mint in June that the firm had invested in seven listed companies between October and February 2009, picking up stake from open markets.
But market revival has not stopped Sequoia from making new investments in the market. Earlier this month it picked up a 6.8% stake in KPO firm eClerx Services Ltd from markets for around Rs 43 crore. The firm has also picked a stake in Naukri.com.
Cognizant was initially a joint venture between Dun & Bradstreet (76%) and Satyam Computer Services Ltd. (24%), but became a 100% subsidiary of D&B Corp. It later became a division of the Cognizant Corporation, after the split-up of Dun & Bradstreet Corporation. Cognizant saw a
revenue growth of 32% in calendar year 2008 from $2.13 billion to $2.81 billion.