After Narayan Murthy, SKS Microfinance has roped in another high profile investor as its IPO opening date draws near.The latest to invest in SKS Microfinance is Quantum Hedge Fund founded by the billionaire investor George Soros.
Market sources reveal that Quantum has picked up around 3 lakh shares in the company from its current shareholder Yatish Trading Company Pvt Ltd. Quantum will be holding a 0.4% stake post the issue while Yatish trading will have a 2.2% holding in SKS Microfinance.
The shares were acquired by Quantum Fund for a total sum of Rs 19.08 crore which translates into a price of Rs 636 per share. The share price is the same as the price paid by the hedge fund Tree Line Asia, which picked up a 2.3% stake in SKS Microfinance in March 2010.
The other high profile investors in SKS Microfinance include Sequoia Capital India,N R Narayana Murthy and Vinod Khosla. SKS Microfinance IPO will open on July 28 and close on July 30, 2010 for qualified institutional buyers and on August 2 for retail investors.
Murthy’s recently launched $129 million venture capital fund Catamaran invested Rs 28.12 crore in January 2010 this year and acquired the shares of SKS Microfinance at the rate of Rs 300 per share.The investment has been made through Catamaran Management Services Pvt Ltd and the firm will be holding a 1.3% stake in SKS Microfinance post issue.
About the Quantum Group of Funds
The Quantum Group of Funds are privately owned hedge funds based in Netherlands and Cayman Islands.They are currently advised by George Soros through his company Soros Fund Management. Soros started the fund in the early 1970’s along with Jim Rogers. The shareholders of the funds are not publicly disclosed although it is known that the Rothschild family and other wealthy Europeans put money into the funds in 1969.
In 1992, the lead fund, Soros’s Quantum Fund became famous for “breaking” the Bank of England, forcing it to devalue the pound. Soros had bet his entire fund in a short sale on the ultimately fulfilled prediction that the British currency would drop in value, a coup that netted him a profit of $1 billion. In 1997, Soros was blamed for forcing sharp devaluations in Southeast Asian currencies.