India PE Investment Way Up – Led by World Bank, Sequoia

It was pretty much a given that Indian private equity investment would be up in 2010, as it was way down in the jittery deal-making climate of 2009.

But just how far up is pretty impressive. According data published today by India-based Venture Intelligence, private equity investments in India almost doubled in 2010 from year-ago levels, with private equity firms investing just under $8 billion in 325 deals. By comparison, PE firms invested just under $4.1 million in 290 deals a year earlier.

Exits were also at an all-time high, according to Venture Intelligence CEO Arun Natarajan, who says he counted 121 transactions in 2010, including 24 IPOs. The biggest offering was from microloan provider SKS Microfinance, which raised $359 million in its offering last year raised by SKS Microfinance was the largest IPO by a PE-backed firm in 2010. As for M&A, among the biggest standout deals involved drugmaker Paras Pharmaceuticals, backed by Actis and Sequoia Capital, which sold to UK-based Reckitt Benckiser for $726 million.

With 25 investments during 2010, IFC – the World Bank’s private investment arm – remained the most active PE investor in India, according to Venture Intelligence. Sequoia Capital India, with fifteen investments, was the second most active, followed by Nexus Ventures with ten.