Mumbai, 15 March 2016 – The last quarter of 2015 (October to December) provided a strong finish to the year, making it the best year for Indian private equity (PE) in history. The fourth quarter of 2015 saw investments worth 3.9 billion USD, a 40% drop as compared to the previous quarter and a 12% drop as compared to the same period of CY 2014. Despite the drop, the stellar performance throughout the whole year helped 2015 to become the best year ever, with a total of 19.5 billion USD worth of PE inflow across 159 deals.
Q3 ’15 had witnessed 203 deals (6.6 billion USD) while the last quarter of 2014 had 146 deals worth 4.5 billion USD.
These findings are part of the PwC MoneyTree™ India report, a quarterly study of private equity investment activity based on data provided by Venture Intelligence.
The information technology & IT-enabled services (IT & ITeS) sector continued to be the biggest sector, though its performance was lower compared to the previous quarter. IT & ITeS attracted 1.3 billion USD in 93 deals, which is down 52% compared to the year-ago period and down 67% compared to the preceding quarter.
The banking, financial services & insurance (BFSI) sector attracted 910 million USD in 10 deals. But the media & entertainment sector was a surprise, attracting investments worth 414 million USD. Late-stage investments have continued their outstanding performance with 1.7 billion USD, while growth stage deals attracted 1.2 billion USD.
Regionally, Mumbai attracted 1.9 billion USD, while Bangalore was a distant second with investments worth 733 million USD.
Sandeep Ladda, leader - Technology, PwC India said, “‘In 2015, sectors such as banking, insurance and telecom saw the stabilisation of their business and opened up their technology spend over the year, thereby driving the growth of the Indian IT & ITeS industry. The Government revealed some new technology-centric initiatives last year—namely Digital India and Start Up India—to accelerate India’s plunge into the connected Digital world. The Start Up India initiative, launched in January 2016, aims to boost entrepreneurship in India and provides a wide range of incentives to startups. The Finance Budget 2016 has also provided a road map to this initiative."
Sanjeev Krishan, leader, Private Equity, PwC India said, “The Indian Government’s focus on making it easier for foreign investors to do business in India will help from a perception standpoint and needs to be backed by real reform. India’s macros are looking good, with the current account and fiscal deficit at acceptable levels, a relatively stable rupee, inflation at below 5% and, most importantly, a declining interest rate regime. This should encourage private investment as demand picks up. We believe financial services, technology and healthcare continue to see sustained activity in 2016, while e-commerce fundraising may get challenging this year atleast in the near term."
Private equity exits
Along with investments, 2015 was a strong year for exits too. Over all four quarters, there was a record exit of 8.6 billion USD in 230 deals. This is an all-time record, surpassing the exits worth 6.3 billion USD in 2010.
The fourth quarter of the year saw exits worth 1.5 billion USD in 51 deals, a 12% drop from the preceding quarter (1.8 billion USD in 51 deals), but recorded a 16% surge as compared to the year-ago period (1.3 billion USD in 54 deals). IT & ITeS emerged as the top sector in terms of exit value, with investments worth 598 million USD in 13 deals. The manufacturing sector saw exits worth 257 million USD, while telecom, with a single deal worth 250 million USD, secured the third spot.
Once again, secondary sales picked up the top position as the preferred exit route, with 696 million USD in nine deals. Further, public market sales saw 22 deals worth 539 million USD.
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