KKR Buys 9 Percent of in India’s Avantha Power & Infrastructure For $49M – Report

(Reuters) – Private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR.N) has bought a 9 percent stake in India’s Avantha Power & Infrastructure Ltd for 2.17 billion rupees ($49 million) ahead of the utility’s IPO, the Economic Times said.

Avantha Power, part of billionaire Gautam Thapar-led Avantha Group, has issued 64 million shares at 34 rupees each to KKR, the newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing a banker familiar with the transaction.

Avantha Power is looking to raise as much as $280 million through an initial public offering, and the company has filed papers with the market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India.

Officials at KKR in India could not immediately be reached by Reuters, while a spokeswoman for the Avantha Group declined comment.

The Economic Times said KKR’s holding in Avantha Power would be diluted to 6.3 percent after the completion of the share sale, which is expected next month.

Private equity investment in India has picked up momentum in recent months with deals worth $2.05 billion in the first half of this year as compared to $964 million in the same period last year, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Private equity firms typically make minority investments in India, where entrepreneurs are often reluctant to sell out and where full buyouts are rare. ($1=44.7 rupees)
(Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee; Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan)