KKR may look to exit Avendus in $600 million deal
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), one of the world’s private equity powerhouses, is planning to exit its stake in Avendus Capital. KKR is looking to exit Avendus at a valuation of $500-600 million, although no final numbers are available as of now. If the deal goes through, it will mark one of the largest exits by KKR from an Indian financial services company. Avendus is a truly homegrown financial services business which has grown on the strength of its professional culture and deep relations in the sector. It is expected that, apart from KKR< even a handful of other investors may look to sell their stake in Avendus.
Currently, KKR is the largest single shareholder in Avendus and holds around 60% stake in the company. If the deal goes through, it would be the largest exit by KKR in India following the Rs9,000 crore exit that KKR took recently from Max Healthcare. KKR has been active in India since 2008 and has made some marquee investments as well as smart PE exits. Avendus is a diversified financial services conglomerate and offers a host of services including asset management, credit solutions, investment banking and wealth management.
It is said that another 15% may be sold as part of the deal, apart from the 60% that KKR already owns in Avendus. That would take the total sale in Avendus to nearly 75% in this tranche. The mandate is being handled by Nomura India and it will shortlist the bidders for Avendus on a number of criteria and give its recommendations to KKR. Both KKR and Avendus are extremely bullish on the India story and believe that only surface has been scratched in these businesses. But it would prefer more strong hands in India.
It may be recollected that KKR had acquired a majority stake in Avendus Group in November 2015 for around $115-120 million. That means, they should get a good return on their investment. At that point of time KKR had bought close to 58% from 13 investors led by Eastgate Capital Group. Avendus has also made a big foray into the institutional business with the recent acquisition of the institutional equities business of Spark Capital. Avendus is already positioned as a firm that HNIs and issuers of capital would look up to.
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