Blackstone seeks CCI nod to acquire 37.5% stake in Aakash Educational Services

Photo: Reuters

Private equity major Blackstone has sought the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) nod to acquire a 37.5 per cent stake in Aakash Educational Services for about Rs 1,200-1,300 crore, The Times of India reported.

Blackstone is routing the transaction through its special purpose vehicle, Singapore VII Topco, the report added.

Aakash had filed for an initial public offering last year to raise about Rs 1,000 crore. The share sale, which was being planned at a valuation of Rs 4,000 crore, would have seen equity dilution by promoter group led by J C Chaudhry. However, the IPO plan is most likely to be pushed back owing to the ongoing deal with Blackstone.

The deal, if fructifies, will mark Blackstone’s fourth transaction in India this year.

In June, the New York-based PE firm announced that it has acquired 97.7 percent stake in Aadhar Housing Finance Limited from Wadhawan Global Capital and Dewan Housing Finance Limited. In April, it bought a majority stake in speciality packaging company Essel Propack Ltd for about $310 million. It also acquired a minority stake in Future Lifestyle, which owns retail chains Brand Factory and Central.

Blackstone has been active in India since 2006 and has committed $9.8 billion of investments in India through private equity and real estate.

Meanwhile, Aakash started out with preparing students for medical entrance exams in 1988, and expanded into engineering coaching in 2007. It has close to 2 lakh students on its rolls for various courses across 170 classrooms in over 100 cities.

The company’s revenues increased to Rs973.33 crore in FY18 from Rs722.42 crore in FY17. It posted a profit of Rs160 crore in FY18.