ASG Eye in talks with PEs to sell 49% stake


ASG Eye Hospitals, one of the largest eye care chains in India, is set to sell about 49% stake. ASG, which has started discussions with several private equity funds, expects a valuation of ₹2,300 crore ($300 million) for the chain. ICICI Securities is running the sale process, said multiple people aware of the development.

A clutch of PE funds such as General Atlantic, Carlyle, Warburg Pincus and domestic fund Kedaara were approached and bids are expected by the end of March.

Out of ₹1,100 crore ($150 million) to be raised, about ₹700-800 crore will be raised as primary capital while the remaining fund will be garnered through the exit of existing investor Investcorp, which will sell 15%.


Recently, ASG’s ₹550-crore offer to acquire the debt-laden Vasan Eye Care chain has been approved by the creditors in bankruptcy. The acquisition of Vasan is expected to give ASG a stronghold in the south Indian market. “ASG is constantly engaged in discussions with various investors and lenders to fuel our growth strategy. ASG prefers not to comment on market rumours and speculation,” said ASG spokesperson.

Investcorp declined to comment.

Started in 2005 by Arun Singhvi and Shashank Gang, ASG offers end-to-end ophthalmology services related to cataract, retina, glaucoma and refractive issues. It has about 30 centres across the country. Through its subsidiaries, ASG also operates eyecare centers in Kathmandu, Nepal and Kampala, Uganda. Promoters hold 48% stake while the rest is held by existing investors – Investcorp, Foundation Holdings and Symphony International Holding.

In 2019, ASG had raised ₹308 crore in a round led by UAE-based family investment office Foundation Holdings. Investcorp (former IDFC Alternatives) invested ₹75 crore in 2017, while Sequoia Capital acquired a minority stake for ₹50 crore in 2013. ASG earned 69% of total sales from 5 states namely Rajasthan (23%), Bihar (15%), West Bengal (13%), Assam (10%) and UP (9%), said a report from Care Ratings.