Carlyle exits Indian firm IIFL Holdings

The firm sold its stake to an Indian subsidiary of Fairfax Holdings, raising Fairfax’s ownership in IIFL from 9 percent to up to 35 percent

Private equity giant The Carlyle Group has fully exited its investment in Indian financial services firm IIFL Holdings.

The firm sold its 9.2 percent stake to Canada-based Fairfax Holdings generating a 3x return, according to reports. Fairfax made its purchase through its subsidiary Fairfax India.

Carlyle declined to comment on details of the transaction.

Carlyle acquired IIFL Holdings in May 2011 through Carlyle Asia Partners III, a buyout vehicle launched in 2007 at $2.55 billion. The firm became a key institutional shareholder in IIFL and joined the company’s board of directors, according to a statement. Carlyle’s investment also supported the company’s growth plans including expansion of their financing and international businesses.

Mumbai-based IIFL, previously known as India Infoline Ltd, is one of the largest financial services groups in India offering advisory and execution platforms for the entire range of financial services products ranging from equities and derivatives, to commodities, wealth management, asset management, insurance, and other small savings instruments.

Carlyle’s other recent regional exits include China-based home appliance manufacturer Haier Electronics Group for about $424.4 million in April and its combined stake with TPG Capital in Australian private healthcare operator Healthscope for a reported $612 million in November, as reported by Private Equity International.

Carlyle’s previous investments in India’s financial services industry include the Housing Development Finance Corporation, which the firm exited in 2012 in an $841 million sale.

While the Indian economy has seen revived private equity investments this year, funds in India are still finding it hard to exit investments made four to five years ago. According to data from VCCEdge, the data research platform of VCCircle, exit deal value rose only 8.8 per cent this year to $5.2 billion from $4.8 billion last year. 

The number of exits fell to 230 from 270