ADIA nears buying $500-million stake in Lenskart: report – ET Retail

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Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) is nearing a deal to acquire a stake in omnichannel eyewear startup Lenskart for about $500 million, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund is finalising an agreement to buy a mix of existing Lenskart shares and new equity, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is not public.

The deal, which would value Lenskart at more than $4 billion, may be announced as early as this week, the people said.

Lenskart is set to close its funding round amid a global rout for tech companies that’s prompted layoffs in the thousands, depressed investment activity and shaved billions off the valuations of once high-flying startups.

The company has grown into India’s largest optical brand and is backed by KKR & Co., SoftBank Group Corp., Temasek Holdings Pte and Premji Invest, among others.

Though discussions are in the advanced stage, details could still change, the people said. Representatives for ADIA and Lenskart declined to comment.

Lenskart, which uses technology and supply chain automation to directly sell glasses and contact lenses to consumers, was cofounded in 2010 by Peyush Bansal, who is also its chief executive officer. The company agreed in June to buy a majority stake in Japan’s Owndays Inc. at a valuation of about $400 million.

The company is profitable and is planning an initial public offering within 48 months.

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