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At USD 15.2 bn, 2016 second-biggest year for PE investments

NEW DELHI, Jan 1:  Private equity investments in 2016 hit USD 15.2 billion, making it the second-most successful one after 2015 that saw deals worth USD 17.3 billion materialising, says a report.

According to Venture Intelligence, PE investors bet USD 15.2 billion across 620 deals in 2016 while in 2015, it was USD 17.3 billion across 775 transactions.

Moreover, 2016 was the biggest in terms of buyouts.

“PE investors have bet as much as USD 4.3 billion to acquire controlling stakes in 27 companies, the highest-ever tally for buyout deals in the country (surpassing the USD 3.2 billion across 24 companies in 2015),” the report said.

In the largest PE deal of the year (and the largest single PE investment in India till date), the publicly-listed Reliance Communications sold a 51 per cent stake in its tower assets unit Reliance Infratel to Canada’s Brookfield Infrastructure Group for USD 1.65 billion (Rs 11,000 crore).

Among other major deals, Blackstone bought out Hewlett Packard from its majority holding in listed IT Services and BPO firm Mphasis through an USD 1.1 billion deal while AION Capital partnered with former GE Capital executives Pramod Bhasin and Anil Chawla to take over the commercial lending business of GE Capital in India for USD 300 million.

Infrastructure investments – notably led by Canada-headquartered investors – dominated the list of big-ticket investments during 2016.

Canada’s Brookfield committed USD 1.65 billion to buy a majority stake in telecom tower firm Reliance Infratel and pension fund CDPQ along with others invested USD 850 million in Tata Power’s SPV Resurgent Power while Fairfax Holdings invested over USD 300 million each in Bangalore International Airport and Sanmar Chemicals.

IT and ITeS companies, which attracted USD 4.7 billion across 359 transactions in 2016, saw their share of the PE investment pie decline sharply to 31 per cent, from 45 per cent in 2015.

BFSI (Banking, Financial Services and Insurance) companies attracted over USD 2.7 billion across 53 transactions in 2016, the report said. (PTI)

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