UK-based global investment firm Permira Private Equity which backs the likes of McAfee and Kroll and recently sealed a $10.2 bn consortium buyout of software company Zendesk is planning to open an India office and may induct an executive from a rival global fund to spearhead domestic operations & investments, multiple industry sources with knowledge of the matter told Moneycontrol.
The move comes at a time when Permira has raised 16 billion euros for its new flagship fund, according to a report by Bloomberg. The UK-based firm has an aum ( assets under management) in excess of 65 bn euros and has made around 300 investments across Europe, US, and Asia in the technology, consumer, healthcare, and services sectors, and luxury brands like Hugo Boss & Valentino have been part of its portfolio in the past.
"Yes, Permira is planning to set up shop in India, and Siddharth Narayan, a Principal at Warburg Pincus is likely to join them for the lead role,” said one of the persons cited above.
Two other persons confirmed the India entry plans, the proposed move of Narayan, and the building of a local team without elaborating on any timelines.
A fourth person said that Permira had been actively evaluating deals in India in the recent past. “ In terms of buyouts, they may look at $500 mn plus size deals and in terms of minority transactions, they may look to cut cheques in the region of $150 mn plus. Their proposed entry is definitely good for the Indian tech ecosystem,” he added.
According to reports, Permira had expressed interest along with other peers during the 2020-2021 sale process of Blackstone-backed Indian outsourcing services provider Mphasis. Blackstone later dropped plans to sell its majority stake to a third party and hiked its stake in the firm.
All the four persons above spoke to Moneycontrol on the condition of anonymity.
Permira Private Equity declined to comment in response to an email query. A mail sent to Warburg Pincus was left unanswered at the time of going to press. When contacted, Narayan declined to comment.
KNOW MORE ABOUT PERMIRA PE & ITS NEW INDIA SPEARHEAD
Siddharth Narayan has spent a decade at Warburg Pincus with earlier stints at Lightspeed Venture Partners (he helped set up the India office) and McKinsey & Co. According to his Linkedin profile, at Warburg Pincus, Narayan, an alumnus of The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and IIT Madras, has led investment efforts in digital/fast-growing technology businesses across the internet/software/fintech in India including Ola Cabs, Perfios Software, and Good Glam Group.
He was also involved in the firm’s strategy and investments in CarTrade, Ecom Express, Encora, Princeton Digital Ventures, NDR, and Quikr, the Linkedin profile added. From 2015 to 2017, he was based in the New York office of Warburg Pincus as part of the Growth Technology Group.
Incidentally, earlier this week, Warburg Pincus agreed to sell its majority stake in Reorg, a global provider of data, analytics, and intelligence for the credit markets, to Permira.
Founded in 1985, Permira makes long-term majority and minority investments across two core asset classes- private equity and credit. The firm has an extensive track record in technology investing and has backed and partnered to scale some of the largest and fastest growing product-focused technology and tech-enabled services companies globally, including Alter Domus, Axiom, Carta, Clearwater Analytics, Klarna, Mimecast, Legal Zoom, Seismic, and Relativity. It employs more than 450 people globally across 16 offices.Note For Readers: Corporate Crossings is a series that puts the lens on important executive movements within companies and in the industry and captures the exits & new innings of members of India Inc, investment bankers, lawyers, Big 4 professionals, private equity investors & more.