KKR signs second Indian deal

The buyout firm will invest $250 million in Bharti Infatel, an Indian telecom company that has already received $1 billion from private equity and sovereign funds.

Nearly two years after its first Indian investment, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts has agreed its second deal in the country: a $250 million (€170 million) minority investment in Bharti Infratel. The investment will be made from the firm’s Asia fund as well as its global buyout fund.

KKR’s Bharti stake will reportedly be in the range of 2 percent to 2.5 percent, determined after the New Delhi-based telecom operator's valuation is established following the company’s 2008-2009 operating performance. That valuation is estimated to be between $10 billion and $12.5 billion, the firm said.

This is Bharti’s second private placement. In December 2007, it raised $1 billion from Temasek Holdings, The Investment Corporation of Dubai, Goldman Sachs, the Macquarie Group, AIF Capital, Citigroup and India Equity Partners.

KKR’s first investment in India, the $900 million acquisition of a majority stake in Nasdaq-listed Flextronics Software Systems, made headlines at the time for being the largest leveraged buyout and technology investment in India to date.

The Bharti deal represents the fourth investment for KKR’s $4 billion Asia fund, its first such vehicle. In September 2007, the firm acquired a minority stake in Tianrui Cement for $115 million, its first deal in China, and in 2005 it invested in Singapore-based Avago Technologies, the former semiconductor products group of Agilent Technologies.

KKR set up offices in Hong Kong and Tokyo in 2005.