Canadian asset management firm Brookfield’s $1.8 billion (₹13,000 crore) acquisition of Pipeline Infrastructure India, which owns the 1,400-km natural gas pipeline from Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh to Bharuch in Gujarat, from Reliance Industries, led the record $10.1 billion invested by private equity and venture capital firms across 159 deals in the first quarter of 2019.
According to data compiled by Venture Intelligence, a research service that tracks PE/VC investments, the investment value in January-March 2019 jumped 26 per cent from $8 billion that they invested in the same period last year, in 208 transactions. The investments in the first quarter of this year were also 39 per cent higher than the $7.3 billion across 178 transactions in the immediate previous quarter.
In the quarter under review, there were 23 PE investments worth $100 million or more, with six of them $500 million or more, compared with 17 such transactions in the year-ago period. Infrastructure related companies, especially in energy, roads and telecom, accounted for 48 per cent of the investment value, or $4.9 billion across 16 deals, compared with $3.7 billion in 13 deals in the first quarter of 2018. The second largest investment after Brookfield’s deal was the $715 million invested by Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC in Bharti Airtel.
The other top deals include tech investor SoftBank’s investments in e-commerce-focussed logistics firm Delhivery and omni-channel baby products retailer FirstCry.
The BFSI (Banking, Financial Services and Insurance) sector with $2.2 billion in 20 PE deals was the second most favoured area for PE investors, followed by IT and ITeS, which got $1.7 billion in 86 transactions.