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Private Equity Deals Hit All-Time High In 2018

The private equity sector saw a robust growth in 2018 as the overall investments grew by 36 percent as compared to the last year.

PE investments in the country crossed $33.1 billion across 720 transactions to set a new all-time high, surpassing $24.3 billion worth of investments in 2017 spread across 734 transactions, as per the data shared by research firm Venture Intelligence.

This year, the number of PE investments worth $100 million or more almost doubled to 81, accounting for 77 percent of the total investment value during the period. This compared to 47 such transactions in 2017, the data showed. The investments worth more than $200 million also went up by nearly 33 percent in FY18.

The mid-year Walmart-Flipkart deal re-energised the international investors’ appetite for mega bets on India’s Internet and mobile companies, said Arun Natarajan, founder of Venture Intelligence. “This has helped offset the slowdown in investments in sectors like financial services, manufacturing and infrastructure towards the year-end triggered by nervousness in the public markets and the IL&FS scare.”

The information technology-enabled services sector, led by the $1 billion investment both in Swiggy from South Africa-based Naspers and in Oyo by SoftBank, accounted for 32 percent of the PE investment pie in 2018, attracting $10.6 billion across 383 deals.

Other large-ticket IT & ITeS investments in 2018 included funds raised by online payment gateway service BillDesk, online insurance broker PolicyBazaar and Zomato.

Financial services companies, led by the HDFC and Star Health Insurance, attracted 72 investments worth $5.9 billion and included 17 deals of $100 million or more.

Natarajan said that global economic trends in the New Year and the outcome of the upcoming General Elections would determine whether the PE investment tally of 2019 outdoes the highs of 2018.