Swiss investment firm Partners Group’s India exposure may cross $1B this year

Switzerland-based global private markets investment management firm Partners Group is likely to see its India exposure touch the $1 billion mark by the year-end, a senior executive from the company said.

Partners Group is looking at two deals in India currently, one each in the financial services and education space.

“We ideally like to invest $150-$250 million every year across two deals,” says Christoph Rubeli, co-CEO at Partners Group.

“We are seeing initial positive signs on infrastructure and we may re-look the sector soon,” Rubeli said.

Partners Group has invested $800 million in India to date out of which $300 million was in 2013 alone. It recently set up its India office in Mumbai and named Cyrus Driver as head of the unit.

The firm is also spending time on finding deals in the healthcare space. “Valuations are currently the biggest challenge in healthcare,” says Cyrus Driver, head of India at Partners Group. The firm would look at buying out the operating shareholders stake in the healthcare companies.

“We have a number of companies looking to either expand in India, finding the right acquisition target or form a joint venture here and we help them through all this,” Driver said.

Founded in 1996, Partners Group is head-quartered in Zug, Switzerland and employs over 700 people. It is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange, with a major ownership being held by its partners and employees.

The firm has been present in Asia since 1999. In India, it has previously invested in real estate and infrastructure and is keen to invest in sectors like education, healthcare and financial services.

Last year, the Swiss firm had invested in global technology support services provider CSS Corp, a remote infrastructure management and technology support services company, which has majority of its workforce in India. The stake was purchased for $270 million in a leveraged buyout deal which gave SAIF Partners, Goldman Sachs and Sierra Ventures an exit. The deal also involved Sanjay Chakrabarty, a technology entrepreneur, picking up a minority stake in CSS.

Partners Group also made additional investment in an unnamed chain of schools.

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