The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is investing US$425 million in an Indian content technology platform company.
Following an initial equity investment of US$50 million in VerSe Innovation Private Ltd.’s previous funding round, the CPPIB was a lead investor in the latest round with a further US$375 million. Founded in 2007, the organization operates Dailyhunt, one of India’s largest local language content platforms; Josh, one of the country’s largest short video platforms; and PublicVibe, a hyper local video platform.
The newly raised funds will be used to strengthen VerSe Innovation’s position in the local language content space in India by enhancing its artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities and broadening its offerings to include areas such as e-commerce and live streaming, according to a press release.
“This investment aligns with our approach of providing strategic capital to industry leaders in India’s technology sector,” said Frank Su, managing director and head of private equity Asia at the CPPIB, in the release. “We look forward to supporting the next phase of VerSe Innovation’s growth journey, which we believe will deliver strong risk-adjusted returns for the CPP fund.”
In other investment news, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is entering a private agreement with Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. for the repurchase for cancellation of 5,477,451 Class A multiple voting shares of the convenience store chain.
The repurchase price represents a discount of three per cent on the closing price of the Class A shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange on April 4, 2022 and will be paid using Couche-Tard’s cash on hand, according to a press release, which noted it will be made in connection with the Caisse’s periodic portfolio rebalancing. Once the repurchase is complete, the Caisse will hold about 52.3 million Class A shares, representing about five per cent of Couche-Tard’s total shares outstanding.
“As a long-standing Couche-Tard partner, we plan to uphold our commitment to this leader in the convenience sector,” said Kim Thamassin, executive vice-president and head of Quebec at the Caisse, in the release. “Furthermore, following this transaction, CDPQ will retain a significant stake in the company.”