Private Equity (PE) investments in India rose to their highest ever figure of $37 Billion in 2019 (across 861 transactions), according to data from Venture Intelligence (https://www.ventureintelligence.com), a research service focused on private company financials, transactions and their valuations. (Note: These figures include Venture Capital investments, but exclude PE investments in Real Estate.)
Riding on the back of large ticket Infrastructure sector deals, PE investments in 2019 edged past the previous high of $36 Billion (across 937 investments) in 2018 (during which, mega deals in the Tech Sector - especially E-Commerce, had dominated the headlines).
2019 witnessed 74 PE investments worth $100 million or more (accounting for 74% of the total investment value during the period). Of these, 40 were larger than $200 million each (with 5 investments over $1 Billion), the Venture Intelligence data shows.
Top Private Equity Investments
Infrastructure related industries accounted for 40% of the PE investment pie in 2019 (attracting $14.7 Billion across 74 deals) compared to 20% share in 2018 ($7.8 Billion across 83 deals). Energy industry deals, led by Brookfield's $1.9 Billion investment in Reliance Pipeline Infra, accounted for 26 investments worth $4.9 Billion in 2019, compared to $3.2 Billion (across 31 deals) in 2018. The RIL - Brookfield partnership also extended into Telecom, with the Canadian investor agreeing to invest almost $3.7 Billion (INR 25,215 Cr) in an SPV that will acquire a controlling stake in Reliance Jio's tower infrastructure company. The Airport development arms of the Hyderabad-based GMR and GVK groups also attracted significant capital during the year.
Topped by a new $1 Billion investment in Fintech leader Paytm (led by US-based T Rowe Price), IT & ITeS companies accounted for 32% of the PE investment pie in 2019 (attracting $11.8 Billion across 493 deals), compared to $10.9 Billion (across 482 deals) in 2018. The year saw 9 new Unicorn companies being minted: Delhivery, Dream11, BigBasket, Rivigo, Druva Software, Icertis, Citius Tech, Ola Electric and Lenskart, according to the Venture Intelligence Unicorn Tracker.
“The fact that the PE investment tally of 2019 outdid the previous high of 2018 - despite uncertainties on the Economic, Political and Global Trade fronts - is very encouraging,” remarked Arun Natarajan, Founder of Venture Intelligence. “The sheer diversity of investors that are now actively investing in India – by geography (including North America, Asia and Middle East) as well as sector preferences - provides scope for optimism that the momentum will be maintained into the New Year.”