New York Life-led Group to Take 30% in Cen­trum Di­rect

Bal­las’ In­dia In­ter­est

The Economic Times - - Finance & Commodities -

$600 mil­lion Mum­bai: A group of pri­vate eq­uity in­vestors, led by New York Life In­sur­ance and In­dia-fo­cussed Ja­cob Bal­las, have agreed to in­vest $50 mil­lion in Cen­trum Di­rect, the for­eign ex­change busi­ness of Cen­trum Group, as the com­pany gears up for ex­pan­sion af­ter ex-Stan­dard Char­tered banker Jas­pal Bindra became the chair­man of the firm.

The pri­vate eq­uity in­vestors will pick up a lit­tle more than 30% stake, valu­ing the for­eign ex­change busi­ness of the group at .₹ 1,000 crore.

The pro­mot­ers will chan­nelise the funds into the new lend­ing busi­nesses of Hous­ing and SME Fi­nance, mul­ti­ple sources close to the deal told The deal is ex­pected to be an­nounced on Wed­nes­day. When con­tacted, Cen­trum de­clined to com­ment, while a mail sent to Ja­cob Bal­las re­mained unan­swered till the time of go­ing to press. New York Life has in­vested $20 mil­lion while other in­vestors contributed the rest.

Ja­cob Bal­las is an In­dia-fo­cussed pri­vate eq­uity fund and man­ages close to $600 mil­lion across three sep­a­rate funds. The com­pany has in­vest­ments in Ad­labs, Karaikkal Ports and Vivimed Labs.

In ad­di­tion to forex, Cen­trum is an es­tab­lished player in in­vest­ment bank­ing, wealth man­age­ment, in­sti­tu­tional broking and has re­cently for­ayed into re­tail lend­ing busi­nesses of Hous­ing and SME Fi­nance. Cen­trum’s forex busi­ness is one of the largest in the mar­ket, with pres­ence at 18 air­ports.

In FY 2015-16, Cen­trum Di­rect re­ported a gross turnover of over .₹ 5,000 crore and an EBITDA of ap­prox­i­mately .₹ 70 crore. Cen­trum Di­rect reg­is­tered a stand­alone CAGR of over 30% over the past 5 years. In April last year, Jas­pal Bindra, for­mer ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor and head of Stan­dard Char­tered’s Asian op­er­a­tions, joined as ex­ec­u­tive chair­man of Cen­trum group.

Un­der Bindra, the group has un­der­gone a se­ries of new ini­tia­tives in­clud­ing the tweak­ing of its busi­ness strat­egy and ex­pan­sion of its core busi­nesses. In Novem­ber, it launched a .₹ 500-crore pri­vate eq­uity fund aimed at in­vest­ing in small and mid-sized com­pa­nies. The new fund will be the first of such funds from Cen­trum. Last week, the com­pany hired Shu­jaat Khan, for­mer part­ner at Chrys Cap­i­tal and co-founder of do­mes­tic pri­vate eq­uity firm, Blue River Cap­i­tal, as head of its as­set man­age­ment busi­ness.

Cen­trum’s forex busi­ness is one of the largest in the mar­ket, with pres­ence at 18 air­ports

In­di­afo­cussed pri­vate eq­uity fund

close to

across three sep­a­rate funds

in Ad­labs, Karaikkal Ports and Vivimed Labs In­du­lal PM & Saikat Das

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.