Blackstone invests $170 million in India’s IBS Software: Reuters

(Reuters) — U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group LP has bought a minority stake in India’s IBS Software for $170 million from General Atlantic and other shareholders.

Blackstone and IBS, a software company involved in the travel, hospitality, logistics and oil and gas industries, said on Wednesday the deal was expected to close within a month, subject to regulatory approvals, according to a joint statement.

No details were provided on the size of the stake but Amit Dixit, senior managing director and co-head of private equity at Blackstone, India, told Reuters the stake was “significant”

Dixit added he expected IBS to maintain the revenue growth of around 25 percent in U.S. dollar terms the company has posted in the last two years, with operating profit margins around 40 percent.

He added he could also foresee a global listing for the software company, but did not provide specific details.

“An IPO in an international market, most likely the U.S. market is the most logical next step for the company, and the company has already been thinking about that,” Dixit told Reuters in a phone interview.

The private equity firm bought its stake in IBS from General Atlantic, which has been an investor in IBS since 2007.

Blackstone has been investing in India since 2005 and has invested over $5 billion in private equity and real estate, including $1 billion so far this year.

The private equity firm has been scouring for opportunities in India’s IT sector. In September, it re-purchased the Indian operations of British outsourcing firm Serco for 250 million pounds ($375 million), its largest acquisition in India by enterprise value.

“It’s a target sector for us, it’s sector where we have made good returns in the past,” Dixit said when asked about signing more deals in the Indian IT space.