India: Mahindra Partners invests $29m in Centre for Sight; PE firm Matrix exits

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Mahindra Partners, the private equity and corporate venture capital arm of the Mahindra Group, on Wednesday announced that it has invested Rs 206.5 crore (about $29 million) in eye hospital chain Centre for Sight Ltd (CFS), paving an exit for early investor Matrix Partners India.

Private equity firm Matrix Partners had reportedly invested Rs 50 crore in New Delhi-based CFS in 2010. It invested an additional Rs 30 crore in the company in July 2013.

“We have been privileged to partner with CFS from 2010 and from its very early days. The business has scaled almost 10 times since then and it has been a privilege to be part of this journey,” said Matrix India founder and managing director Avnish Bajaj.

As part of the latest transaction, the promoters have further invested Rs 20 crore in CFS, taking the total investment into the company to Rs 226.5 crore.

The new investment, which was done through a mix of primary and secondary transactions, will help CFS drive its organic and inorganic growth and consolidate its leadership position in the growing Indian ophthalmology healthcare segment, said a press statement.

“Centre for Sight fits into our larger healthcare strategy which is focused on the delivery side with a bias towards single specialty. This new investment aligns with the demographic catered to by our first healthcare investment, Medwell Ventures, which operates a home healthcare chain under the Nightingales brand,” said Parag Shah, Managing Partner at Mahindra Partners.

Centre for Sight was established in 1996 and incorporated in 2002 by Padma Shri recipient Dr Mahipal Sachdev. The chain provides comprehensive eye care services at 43 eye care centres across nine states and more than 24 cities in India.

It claims to employ more than 145 super-speciality doctors.

“Our association with Mahindra Partners will help us sustain the scorching pace of growth we have set out for ourselves, enabling us to open new centers in our existing territories as well as in areas lacking quality eye-care and also to drive growth through strategic acquisitions of existing practices,” Sachdev, the CMD of CFS said.

Established in 2010, Mahindra Partners has assets under management of over $1 billion, and its current investments span logistics, healthcare and renewables, among other sectors.

Matrix Partners India has about $1 billion worth of assets under management. Its portfolio companies include ride-hailing company Ola, online classifieds portal Quikr, digital health platform Practo, digital hotel chain Treebo, and scooter-sharing startup Vogo.