Private Equity Funds Shying Away from PIPEs

Private equity-money-indian-rupees

Indian private equity firms are currently disinclined to conduct private investments in public equity (PIPE) deals, according to a report in the Business Standard. Their reticence is thought to be due to the recent secondary market crash, and the uncertainty that ensued.

According to the report, which cites a study by Venture Intelligence, private equity firms announced 24 PIPE deals in H1 2009, which were worth around $349m – a massive 68 percent decline on H1 2008’s $1.58bn, across 68 deals.

In addition, PIPE deals comprised 12 percent of the total private equity deal value – $2.89bn – for H1 2009.

For instance, in 2008, the value of Pipe investments worth $1.67 billion eroded to $1.22 billion, an absolute loss of $0.45 billion (26.85 per cent), said an SMC Capital report.

Vishal Tulsyan, chief executive officer of Motilal Oswal suggested to the Business Standard that losses arising from mark-to-market accounting may be partially to blame for this trend.

“PEs are staying away from PIPE deals due to the mark-to-market issue. PEs invest for a time-frame of four-six years. Since the market is uncertain, one would not like to take risk,” he said.

Furthermore, valuations have risen in the last nine months or so. “PIPE deals are not cheap anymore. The capital market makes sense for people who are looking at quick appreciation. The market has been range-bound and very volatile,” said Alok Gupta, the chief executive officer of Axis Private Equity, speaking to the Business Standard.

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