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Blackstone is in the process of taking three portfolio firms public, including a US listing for an IT services firm.bloomberg
Blackstone is in the process of taking three portfolio firms public, including a US listing for an IT services firm.bloomberg

Blackstone lines up three IPO exits from India in 2021

Blackstone Group has lined up a robust pipeline of exits from its India portfolio this year

Blackstone Group has lined up a robust pipeline of exits from its India portfolio this year. The New York-based alternative assets manager is in the process of taking three portfolio companies public, including a US listing for an IT services company, said two people familiar with the development.

In all, Blackstone is preparing for at least four liquidity events during the year.

Portfolio company TaskUS, a business process outsourcing (BPO) service provider, is expected to list in the US later this year, the people cited above said, on the condition of anonymity. The size of the proposed initial public offering (IPO) is still being finalized, they added.

TaskUS did not respond to emailed requests for comments. Blackstone declined to comment.

While TaskUS is based in San Antonio, Texas, it has extensive operations in Bengaluru. It offers outsourced services to companies across sectors such as entertainment and gaming, fintech and retail.

Blackstone took an undisclosed majority stake in the BPO firm in late 2018 for at least $250 million, which valued it at twice the size at the time. It is also preparing to take portfolio companies Aadhar Housing Finance Ltd and Sona Comstar public this year.

Blackstone had acquired a majority stake in Sona BLW Precision Forgings Pvt. Ltd, which was then merged with Comstar Automotive Technologies Pvt. Ltd to create Sona Comstar. The combined auto business could be listed this year after April or May, if the market rally sustains, one of the people cited above said. The IPO is expected to be sized at 3,500- 4,000 crore, the people added. Meanwhile, Blackstone has hired merchant bankers for a 7,000- 7,500 crore IPO of Aadhar Housing, the people cited above said. It had invested about $500 million in the company in 2019.

Emailed queries to Aadhar Housing and Sona Comstar were unanswered at the time of publishing this report.

The exact offer for sale for TaskUs is not clear but it would not involve a full exit for Blackstone, the second person said. Earlier, when Blackstone listed the Embassy Office Parks Real Estate Investment Trust, it did not sell any stake until after a year, the person said. When the PE firm listed Mumbai-based fragrances and flavours maker SH Kelkar, it sold part of its share in the IPO.

In what could be the fourth liquidity event for Blackstone this year, the firm is also looking at a possible exit from its investment in mid-tier IT services firm Mphasis with several private equity investors looking to acquire a stake in the business, an Economic Times report said earlier this week.

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