PE investments up three-fold to $1.4 bn in February led by IIFL, ASK Group

Private equity (PE) investments in February rose three-fold in terms of value to $1.4 billion from $393 million, a year ago.

Ernst & Young's (EY) monthly PE tracker data, however, shows, the investments in value were down by 60 per cent compared to $3.5 billion in January 2018, due to absence of a megadeal.

January 2018 had witnessed a large investment worth $1.7 billion in HDFC Limited by a group of investors including GIC, KKR and others.

The largest investment in February 2018 was worth $170 million, led by IIFL's purchase of 30 per cent stake in NSDL e-governance infrastructure from IDBI Bank. This was followed by ASK Group's $155 million investment in Shriram properties to set up a fund for investing in affordable, mid-housing and distressed assets.

In terms of volume, investments grew by 17 per cent compared to January 2018 and were more than twice the number of deals recorded in February 2017. There were four deals of value greater than $100 million, aggregating $580 million compared to none in February 2017.

As far as stages of investments, expansion/growth investments recorded the highest value of investments in February 2018, with 22 deals worth $720 million. In terms of volume, start-up/early stage investing recorded the highest number of deals (30 deals worth $295 million). There were three buyouts worth $86 million in February 2018.

From a sector point of view, financial services led the activity in February 2018, with $447 million invested in 13 deals followed by technology, with $296 million invested in 14 deals.


The month of February has recorded 12 exits worth $234 million, a decrease in both value and volume compared to the previous month, as well as, February 2017.

In terms of value, exits declined by over 70 per cent compared to January 2018 as well as the same period last year. Likewise, in terms of volume, there was more than a 50 per cent reduction compared to January 2018 and February 2017.

This was primarily on account of decline in open market deals. There were just four open-market exits in February 2018, the lowest number of open-market exits in over 22 months accounting for $97 million. In comparison, February 2017 had recorded 12 exits via open markets worth $445 million.

The largest exit in February 2018 saw Apollo Global selling its investment in Logix Group's projects in Noida back to the promoters for about $74 million, marking its first exit from a real estate project since it started investing in the sector on its own in 2016.

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