Mu Sigma founder Dhiraj Rajaram.
Mu Sigma founder Dhiraj Rajaram.

General Atlantic may sell Mu Sigma stake to Carlyle, KKR

  •  General Atlantic has been looking to sell its stake in Mu Sigma for a while now, discussions have gained momentum in recent months
  • General Atlantic's stake is expected to be valued at at least $200 million, given Mu Sigma's unicorn status

Mumbai: Private equity firm General Atlantic (GA) is in talks to sell its entire 20% stake in data analytics company Mu Sigma, according to two people directly aware of the discussions.

The private equity firm is in separate discussions with peers Carlyle and KKR & Co. to sell the stake it had acquired in Mu Sigma in 2011 for an undisclosed amount, the people cited above said, requesting anonymity.

The stake is expected to be valued at at least $200 million, given that Mu Sigma entered the coveted unicorn club—startups that are valued at more than $1 billion—when Mastercard invested $45 million in February 2013.

“GA has been looking to sell its stake in Mu Sigma for a while now and discussions have gained momentum in recent months," said one of the two people cited above, requesting anonymity.

“Talks are currently bilateral and GA is yet to start a formal process," said the second person. The private equity firm may hire an adviser to reach out to other suitors if talks with KKR and Carlyle fail, he added.

This is not the first time GA has explored exiting Mu Sigma. In 2016, it held similar discussions with Canadian pension fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ). In August, The Times of India reported that private equity firm TPG was in talks to pick up a stake in the company at a valuation of $1.2 billion.

Spokespersons for GA and Carlyle declined to comment, while an email sent to KKR and Mu Sigma founder Dhiraj Rajaram was not answered till press time.

Mu Sigma, founded by Rajaram in 2004, first raised $30 million from investors in 2008. It raised an additional $25 million from Sequoia Capital in the same year. In December 2011, the company announced a $108 million round of financing from GA and Sequoia. Mu Sigma counts Walmart Inc, Microsoft Corp., AT&T Inc. and MetLife Inc. among its clients.

The analytics space has seen a surge in private equity interest in recent years. In January, global private equity fund Apax Partners invested $200 million in Fractal Analytics for a significant minority stake. In February 2016, UK-based Millward Brown, one of the leading global players in brand, media and communications research, acquired Analytics Quotient, a Bengaluru-based analytics company founded by former WNS employees. In February 2015, Singapore’s Temasek led a $60 million investment in Bengaluru-based Manthan Software Services.

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