Temasek eyes financial services, consumer, e-com & healthcare space in India

Temasek Holdings, one of the two sovereign wealth funds of Singapore, which went slow in fresh deal-making in India last year but has already sewn two new transactions in the first quarter of this year, is now looking to ramp up its activity in the country, top executives of the firm said in a media briefing on Wednesday.

It is planning to invest a lot more money in the current financial year with focus on areas like financial services (including banking), consumer, healthcare (including pharma) and e-commerce.

Temasek, which has invested in Snapdeal, is bullish on e-commerce sector and is evaluating more opportunities as it believes the local e-com market is still evolving.

The step up in investment activity in India would mark a revival for Temasek, one of the most active sovereign funds in the country. Although the year ended March 31, 2014 was Temasek’s second-most active year in terms of net investments globally, it did not add even a single new portfolio firm in the country.

During FY14, the fund house invested S$24 billion and divested S$10 billion, resulting in a net investment of S$14 billion globally. It had marked a record year in FY08 when it invested S$15 billion at the peak of the previous bull-run which ended in January 2008. In India, it put in more money in an existing portfolio firm Tata Sky last year.

Last fiscal it had two loss-making liquidity events in the country when it exited Firstsource Solutions and part exited Bharti Telecom, a holding firm for Bharti Airtel, with a haircut. More recently it has clocked a multi-bagger by exiting Medreich in a strategic M&A transaction.

However, it has invested in Star Agriwarehousing and Collateral Management Limited, an agri-solutions company and followed it up by co-investing in e-commerce marketplace Snapdeal, since April. The fund is also in advance stages of investment in Intas Pharmaceuticals.

Temasek’s global portfolio value in unlisted assets rose from 27 per cent of the total in FY13 to 30 per cent during FY14. However, in India Temasek’s top management says it has now increased its public market investment while building a pipeline in the private company space. 

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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