UK-based financial and wealth advisor Plutus Wealth Management LLP has bought out shares worth Rs 500 crore from WestBridge Capital in Nazara Technologies, the companies revealed in a joint statement.
WestBridge Ventures II Investment Holdings, a fund managed by WestBridge Capital, has infused around Rs 22.6 crore in Nazara since 2005 and obtained sales consideration of approximately Rs 1,000 crore from its investment.
The latest secondary buyout marks the complete exit of Nazara’s early-stage investor, WestBridge Capital, from the mobile gaming company founded by Nitish Mittersain.
This is the second instance when WestBridge has sold its stake in Nazara. Earlier in 2017, WestBridge had offloaded its minority stake in Nazara to IIFL Special Opportunities Fund for approximately Rs 330 crore. Another key investor in the IPO-bound company is Rakesh Jhunjhunwala who had invested Rs 182 crore in December 2017.
“WestBridge Capital-backed Nitish at a very early stage back in 2005. Since then the company has created great shareholder value and created a market leader. We wish Nitish, Manish (CEO of Nazara) and the entire Nazara group all the very best in their future endeavours,” Sandeep Singhal, co-founder of WestBridge Capital, said in a statement.
Right before the buyback, Nazara had allotted 158,949 equity shares to two of its senior executives — Savio Saldanha, CEO Middle East and East Africa and PR Rajendra, CEO of Next Wave Multimedia — under its ESOP Scheme. According to regulatory filings, Saldanha and Rajendra were allotted shares worth Rs 2.1 crore and Rs 1.96 crore respectively.
Nazara also completed the second tranche of funding in PaperBoat Apps, allotting shares worth Rs 13.5 crore to both co-founders Anshu & Anupam Dhanuka. The company had first invested in the kid-focused application startup back in August 2019 and now controls 51% of the company.
Founded in 2000, Nazara has asserted itself in the interactive gaming and sports sector through investments and acquisitions in various gaming categories including esports, edutainment, infotainment, fantasy sports, multiplayer games like carrom, and mobile cricket games, etc. Over the last two decades, Nazara has also expanded globally to 74 countries dispersed across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.