Mumbai: Private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) exits jumped more than threefold to $472 million in February 2019, compared with the corresponding month of the previous year, according to a report from auditing and consultancy firm EY. The deals were driven by a rebound in open market exits after the volatility in the stock market subsided.

The decision of Bain Capital and Singapore’s sovereign fund GIC to sell a 5% stake in business process management firm Genpact for $324 million to the public markets was the month’s biggest deal. Pune-based warehouse and logistics park developer KSH Infra saw Morgan Stanley Real Estate acquire Pacific Century Group’s stake for $49 million in the other big exit. There were four open market exits in February worth $351 million, more than three times the value recorded in February 2018, and the highest in the past six months,

PE and VC investments in February surged 51%, compared with the year-ago period, driven by larger big-ticket deals, that is, deals of $100 million or more. The month saw $2.6 billion across 61 deals, of which SoftBank and Carlyle’s $415 million investment in logistics firm Delhivery was the largest. ReNew Power’s $350 million debt fundraise from the Overseas Private Investment Corp., and Airtel Africa’s $200 million fundraise from the Qatar Investment Authority were some of the other big rounds.

“After a relatively subdued start in to the year, February has been a good month, recording strong performance in both investments and exits. As market volatility has reduced, both PE/VC investments and exits in listed companies have bounced back," said Vivek Soni, partner and national leader, private equity services, EY

“With large investments by Softbank and buyouts by funds such as Blackstone, True North, AION, etc, the appetite of PE/VC funds for deals appears to be strong, notwithstanding prevailing uncertainties around global growth and impending general elections in India," he added.

The month saw buyouts such as True North’s acquisition of Max Bupa Health Insurance, as well as Blackstone’s buyout of Aadhaar Housing Finance.

Sector wise, financial services led the pack with $712 million across 13 deals, compared to the $619 million last year.

Private investment in public equity (PIPE) investments recorded a rebound in February 2019, emerging from a four-year low of $2.8 million recorded in the previous month. At $431 million, PIPE investments in February were the highest in past eight months.

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