Partners Group, a Swiss investment firm with $55 billion asset under management (AUM), is evaluating health care firms for private equity (PE) investment in India, after doing one of the largest buyout deals in financial services early this year.
The PE firm, along with Kedaara Capital, had bought 90 per cent stake in Jaipur-based Au Housing Finance in February, valuing it at Rs 1,000 crore. It has been a latecomer to India, starting operations four years ago and setting up its local office only two years before. Earlier, it invested in the country via other PE and VC firms, by providing capital as a limited partner.
As its local exposure grew over $400 million, it started investing directly. It has deployed $800 million across PE, real estate and infrastructure assets in four years. Now, it plans an additional $1 billion across these assets in the next three to five years.
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"There is a dearth of good quality, well-run health care facilities in India; it is a steady business so we like it," said Manas Tandon, managing director and head (India) at Partners Group. "We are currently evaluating a bunch of opportunities across hospitals, diagnostic and pharma businesses."
Private investments in health care peaked to an estimated $1.6 billion in 2015 as investors signed large transactions across pharmaceuticals, hospitals and diagnostic chains. Out of the total $800 million invested so far, about $350 million has been invested across technology, financial service and consumption-led business.
In information technology, it acquired support service provider CSS Corp in a $270 million leveraged buy-out deal in 2013. It made another investment in the space when it co-invested with India Value Fund and TA Associates to buy Bengaluru-based high-speed broadband service provider Atria Convergence Technologies (ACT) last year. To tap the consumption theme, it acquired a minority stake in Eurokids. It is the health care segment which has been missing from its portfolio, despite being a part of the four focus areas it had chosen for investments in India.
The firm invests in deals between $60 million and $300 million from its various global funds, for both buyouts and significant minority deals. It does not have any India-specific fund. Also, globally, PE is about 60 per cent of its total business. In India, it is still less than half its total investment and this is likely to accelerate. "Wherever we invest, we roll up our sleeves and get involved through participation on the board of the companies and providing strategic directions to achieve our value creation plan," said Tandon elaborating his firm's approach to investment. One of the key values the PE firm provides is in building quality leadership wherever required by bringing in top-level talent. CSS Corp appointed Manish Tandon as its new chief executive officer this month.
The PE firm helped hire Tandon who had spent two decades at Infosys.