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Signal Hill Announces Launch of India Initiative

03/02/2012

Signal Hill Holdings LLC (“Signal Hill”), the parent of Baltimore-based Signal Hill Capital Group LLC, a leading investment bank with a focus on growth companies, is pleased to announce the launch of Signal Hill Capital Advisory India Pvt. Ltd (“Signal Hill India”), a newly-created investment banking business based in Bangalore, India.

Signal Hill India will specialize in M&A advisory and private placements with a focus on the IT / Technology and Education sectors. The business will be headed by Klaas Oskam, a highly regarded, senior banking professional with significant experience in the Indian market. Prior to joining Signal Hill India, Klaas Oskam was a Director in the Investment Banking team of Ernst & Young India. Joining Mr. Oskam are George Anthraper, Vice President, formerly Director and Head of India Operations for Technology Holdings, and Meherzad Kelawala, Vice President, formerly Associate Vice President within the Investment Banking team of Ernst & Young India. Over the last five years, this team has advised on over 20 M&A and VC/PE financing transactions in India in sectors such as: IT Services; BPO; Enterprise Software; Healthcare IT; Mobile Computing & Mobile value-added services (VAS); Internet and Education.

“Our decision to expand to India was driven by our expectation of significant continued growth in this increasingly important and sophisticated market, coupled with the opportunity to associate ourselves with the unsurpassed talent and experience Klaas and his team bring to client engagements,” said Scott A. Wieler, Signal Hill chairman. “By investing in India, we see an opportunity to leverage the deep domain experience for which Signal Hill is well-known in the US, with an established, dynamic and experienced banking team in India.”

Klaas Oskam, Managing Director commented: “The combination of Signal Hill’s extensive sector knowledge and global distribution capabilities, balanced by the Indian team’s local track record, domain knowledge and relationships, will enable us to hit the ground running and seize the tremendous opportunity that the Indian M&A  and private placement markets offer.” 

One of the main contributors to India’s economic growth over the last 10 years has been the IT sector, which is poised to become a US $225 billion industry employing 30 million people by 2020. Although IT Services and BPO continue to be the main revenue contributors to the Indian IT sector, venture capital and private equity investors have recently been paying significant attention to emerging growth sectors including Internet, Enterprise Software / Software-as-a-Service (“SaaS”) and Mobile computing. Likewise, there is currently tremendous growth in the Indian private Education sector, which is estimated to grow to US$42 billion by 2013.

“Signal Hill has chosen an opportune time to enter the Indian market considering the growth we are witnessing in private placements and M&A activity in the sectors covered by Signal Hill,” said K. Ganesh, serial entrepreneur and Founder & CEO  of TutorVista. “Furthermore, entrepreneurs, VC’s and company boards are increasingly looking to hire specialist investment bankers with deep sector expertise and global distribution capabilities. Having previously worked with Signal Hill, Klaas and his team, I believe they have the level of professional expertise and sector knowledge to make this India venture a success.”