US-based M&A advisory firm Woodbridge opens India office in Pune

Woodbridge will focus on handling sell side mandates for privately held, mid-market firms with transaction values in the range of Rs 25-500 crore. 

Woodbridge International, a US-based and mid-market-focused M&A advisory firm, is opening its India office in Pune, to be led by Darshan Rathod and Vaibhav Sundecha, along with Jitender Chopra, who is based in New York. The new office will serve its clients throughout India. 

Sundecha specialises in transaction advisory for midsize companies and earlier worked for Ernst & Young and PwC while Rathod specialises in lead advisory and previously worked for RREEF (Deutsche Bank Real Estate Private Equity), Ernst & Young and PwC. Both Sundecha and Rathod are currently working with Acumen Financial Consultancy Pvt Ltd. 

At Woodbridge, the duo will work closely with Chopra, who worked with the credit risk division of JPMorgan’s investment banking unit, Fidelity Investments and AXA Equitable. 

Founded in 1993, Woodbridge International is headquartered in New Haven, Connecticut. The firm focuses on selling privately held, middle market companies with transaction values ranging between Rs 25 crore and Rs 500 crore ($4.5 million-$90 million). 

Only last month, it was involved in the deal where Labor Import, a Brazilian distributor of medical supplies, was sold to Bunzl, a London-based distributor traded on the London stock exchange. 

Last year, Woodbridge completed four cross-border transactions where US-based A&A Manufacturing Company, Inc. was acquired by Halltech GmbH (a leading German specialty OEM); Panama-based Hidrotenencias S.A. (a hydroelectric power company) entered into a capital transaction with ACON, a PE investment fund based in the US and Latin America; UK-based PE group Permira, through its portfolio company Genesis (located in the US and Brazil), acquired Woodbridge’s Brazilian client LM Sistemas; and Woodbridge’s Japanese client Yamada entered into a JV with LOM, a Scandinavian company with a division in Manaus, Brazil. 

Starting the Indian M&A advisory services from Pune is an interesting move as well as typically such firms choose to locate either in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore or Chennai. 

Pune has an industrial hub and happens to be the home base of automobile makers besides other auto component and allied services firms.

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)

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