An existing institutional investor in Avendus Capital Pvt. Ltd is preparing to exit from the boutique investment bank, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
Eastgate Capital Group (ECG), the private equity unit of NCB Capital, the investment banking arm of the National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia (NCB), holds about a 26% stake in Avendus. ECG invested Rs.100 crore in Avendus in 2008.
A new investor will acquire ECG’s stake in Avendus as part of the proposed deal, said one of the two persons cited above. Both spoke on condition of anonymity.
At present, three founders—Ranu Vohra, Gaurav Deepak and Kaushal Aggarwal—together hold a majority stake in Avendus Capital. It wasn’t clear if any of the founders would dilute their equity in the investment bank.
On Monday, the Economic Times reported that the US-based private equity firm KKR & Co. Ltd is set to acquire a majority stake in Avendus in a deal worth around $100 million. The proposed transaction involves a combination of new shares and investor exits, and the founders will continue to remain at the helm, said the report, citing unidentified people.
“They are in discussions with several investors including strategic and private equity firms and KKR is one among them,” said the first person.
Mails sent to Avendus and Eastgate Capital Group did not elicit any response. A KKR spokesperson declined to comment.
Avendus Capital Pvt. Ltd is engaged in financial advisory, equity capital markets, alternative asset management and wealth management. Avendus Capital is active in merger and acquisition (M&A) advisory, having closed around 40 cross-border transactions in the past five years.
According to Thomson Reuters’ latest listing of big investment banks, Avendus stands second after Morgan Stanley in terms of fees in the first half of this year. According to the listing, Morgan Stanley made $8.33 million and Avendus $7.8 million. Goldman Sachs was No. 3 with $3.52 million.
In the private equity advisory space also, Avendus advised on 31 transactions and helped raise $3.46 billion in 2014.
Avendus advised Quikr, Housing.com, Nashik Vintners (Sula Wines), BookMyShow, 3i Infotech, TaxiForSure, Indiahomes, Servion, Delhivery, Lenskart.com, Freecharge, Shopclues.com and FirstCry.com in their fund-raising processes.