PE major KKR appoints two new directors for India credit business

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KKR and Co. has appointed two new directors—Sumanth Cidambi and Vijay Padmanabhan—in a bid to strengthen its credit business in India, said the private equity firm Tuesday. The new appointees will help KKR deepen and scale its existing India credit strategy, it said in a statement.

“Both Sumanth and Vijay join our team at a very opportune time. Sumanth brings to us the much necessary owner-operator mindset and has a track record of delivering sustainable value,” said B.V. Krishnan, member of KKR & Co. and chief executive of KKR India Financial Services.

“He (Sumanth) will complement our focus on building capabilities in the operational turnaround and workout areas, which are becoming a critical differentiator in credit investing in India.”

“Vijay brings on board deep credit underwriting experience. He has a unique risk-reward perspective, having worked in the UK and India,” Krishnan said.

Cidambi has worked extensively with corporate boards and senior management teams in Asia, Europe and the US, with deep experience in restructuring operations and business turnarounds. He will work closely with KKR’s credit portfolio companies in India.

Vijay Padmanabhan has extensive experience in credit underwriting and distress investing in the UK and India, including in Fidelity Investments, SBI Funds Management, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Edelweiss Alternative Asset Advisors.

Cidambi and Padmanabhan’s are the latest in a series of senior appointments at KKR. In November, KKR Capstone, which houses the operating team of the private equity firm, hired Myntra chief strategy officer Ananya Tripathi as director. Earlier in 2018, KKR India Financial Services hired two directors—JPMorgan and Chase & Co.’s Jigar Shah and Kotak Investment Bank’s Niraj Karia—as legal and compliance head and senior credit originator, respectively.

Globally, KKR’s lending business has over $62.8 billion in assets under management even as its India credit business is looking to expand its portfolio by acquiring non-banking lenders outright, Bloomberg reported.

KKR is one of the few foreign private equity firms that has its own non-banking finance operations in India. It has invested around $2.5 billion in the country this year, including about $920 million spent in private equity transactions.

KKR is raising $1.5-2 billion for its first Asia-focussed infrastructure fund, Mint reported on 15 November. It has hired Hardik Shah from Brookfield Asset Management LLC, a leading infrastructure investor in India, to lead its infrastructure investments business in the country, the report said.

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This article was first published on livemint.com