Global travel, transportation and logistics technology major IBS Software said it will receive a $170 million private equity investment from Blackstone (NYSE: BX) in exchange for a minority shareholding. Blackstone is buying out General Atlantic’s stake which it held since 2007. The transaction is expected to close within a month, subject to customary regulatory approvals.

“IBS is a rare Software as a Service (SaaS) company with Intellectual property in the aviation, travel and hospitality verticals across the globe. We are impressed by the company’s management team and its track record of delivering mission critical solutions to marquee global customers. We foresee significant growth opportunity for IBS, driven by company’s deep domain knowledge, its portfolio of products, and roster of referenceable customers,” said Amit Dixit, Senior Managing Director and Co-Head of Private Equity in India at Blackstone.

“Investment by a global tier-1 PE player is a true endorsement not only of the relevance and significance of what we do and our financial strength, but also a validation of our industry vision, the business model that we operate and standards of corporate governance. We see a huge synergy from Blackstone’s portfolio of companies and their extensive experience in the travel and hospitality space,” said VK Mathews, Founder and Executive Chairman of IBS Group.

Starting in 1997 with a staff of 55 at Technopark, Trivandrum, India, IBS has become a multinational company, with nearly 3,000 professionals across nine offices in the Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacic, the Middle East and Africa. IBS provides a range of new-generation software products to some of the world’s best airlines, busiest airports, leading cruise lines, major travel distributors and top oil & gas companies. IBS provides comprehensive, end-to-end new-generation IT systems to the global aviation industry across all process areas – airline passenger services, cargo operations, flight and crew operations, airport operations and aircraft maintenance engineering. According to the company, no other single enterprise in the world offers this range of technology products to the aviation industry.

Blackstone is the world’s largest alternate asset management firm with assets under management in excess of $334 billion. The firm has been investing in India since 2005 and has invested over $5 billion in private equity and real estate, including $1 billion so far this year.

The private equity firm has been scouring for opportunities in India’s IT sector, according to Reuters. In September, it re-purchased the Indian operations of British outsourcing firm Serco for 250 million pounds ($375 million), its largest acquisition in India by enterprise value.



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