Blackstone continues to put its dollars to work in India. The PE behemoth has agreed to pay somewhere between $825 million and $1.1 billion for a controlling stake in Mphasis (NSE: Mphasis; BSE: 526299), acquiring the IT outsourcing services provider from Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE: HPE) and public shareholders. The deal, which represents Blackstone's largest acquisition in the country, comes just a few months after the firm purchased a minority interest in India’s IBS Software for $170 million.
While Blackstone has been active in the world’s second most populous nation—home to roughly 1.3 billion people—overall PE investor activity in India is on the downswing. Deal count in the country has decreased each of the past four years, according to the PitchBook Platform, and is on pace to do so again in 2016. So far just 13 transactions have been completed this year, well behind the pace of 90 in 2015.
It wasn’t that long ago that India was seen as the world’s next great hub of PE dealmaking. Investors were assured by the country’s youthful population, rapidly growing middle class and the steady improvement in its GDP. In 2007, PE buyers completed 149 transactions, dozens of them for $100 million or more, but the prospective boom years have yet to arrive. Investors are struggling to exit their existing portfolio companies, and the flow of new deals has clearly begun to dry up. India will almost surely emerge as a larger target at PE for some point, but that date no longer seems imminent.
Here are the top PE investors in India since 2006 and their deal counts (incl. add-ons):