Touchstone Partners

New Delhi Office

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Managing Partner: Karam Daulet-Singh
Number of Partners: 7
Languages: English

Firm Overview:
Based in India, with offices in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, Touchstone Partners brings to its matters the right mix of international experience and standards along with local knowledge and expertise. The firm is particularly strong in its ability to manage transactions for its clients by implementing a hands-on partner driven approach. The firm is particular about the matters it gets involved in, with emphasis on being able to provide a high impact service rather than a run of the mill one.

Main Areas of Practice:

Corporate:
M&A/Joint Ventures:

Cross-border M&A transactions represent the core of what the firm does. The firm has consistently advised multinational companies across the world in their forays into and out of India, drawing on its extensive international experience of working with and across prestigious international law firms on high profile matters. The firm’s experience in advising its strategic clients spans the entire breadth of corporate M&A transactions — greenfield/ brownfield investments, complete buyouts/minority stake purchases, public/private M&A, mergers, joint ventures and exits — and across a variety of sectors, including the consumer goods, energy, infrastructure, pharmaceutical and technology industries
Key transactions include advising:
■ British Petroleum on several matters, including its fuel retail and mobility joint venture in India with Reliance Industries Limited, and the sale of its majority shareholding in Tata BP Solar to Tata Power
■ Diageo Group on several matters, including the acquisition of a controlling interest in United Spirits Limited involving two open offers, on-market share purchases, schemes of arrangement and disposals of various non-core assets involving United Spirits Limited
■ WPP on its acquisition of majority stakes in various Indian companies engaged in the advertising and communications sector
Key Clients: BP, a leading sovereign wealth fund, WPP Group, General Dynamics, Solvay, Tencent, Wellington, Diageo
Contacts: Karam Daulet-Singh (New Delhi), Ruchir Sinha (Mumbai), Yashasvi Mohanram (Bangalore)

Anti-Trust & Competition:
Touchstone Partners has been involved in advising large global and Indian corporations on all aspects of competition law including merger control, cartel investigations and leniencies, anti competitive agreements, abuse of dominance, general competition advisory and compliance and audit work. Touchstone Partners regularly appears before the Competition Commission of India, the Director General and various judicial forums including the appellate tribunal and the Supreme Court.
Key matters include:
On the merger control, Touchstone Partners has acted for

■ A leading sovereign wealth fund, in obtaining merger control clearance in relation to its proposed investment in an Indian airports operator
■ Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), in obtaining merger control clearance in India in respect of the acquisition of Bombardier Transportation (Investment) UK Limited by Alstom S.A. from, inter alia, CDPQ and the subsequent acquisition by, inter alia, CDPQ of a stake in Alstom S.A.
■ Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), in advising on the Indian merger control aspects in respect of the acquisition of the shares of, and control over, Virtusa Corporation by, inter alia, CPPIB.
■ HDFC Limited, in obtaining merger control clearance for its acquisition of Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company and the subsequent merger of Apollo Munich into HDFC Ergo
On the enforcement side, Touchstone Partners has:
■ Acted for a leading global auto-parts company in relation to an ongoing cartel investigation
■ Advised Reliance Industries Limited in relation to discount policies with respect to its petrochemicals business and suggested remedial measures
Key Clients: CPPIB, CDPQ, Tencent, Siemens, BASF, HDFC, a leading sovereign wealth fund, Anheuser-Busch In Bev, Lanxess, Saudi Aramco
Contacts: Vinod Dhall (New Delhi), Gaurav Desai (New Delhi)

Infrastructure:
The firm views fundraising as the foundation of the lifecycle of an investment fund and as a critical piece that informs various aspects of its operations and investment programme. In light of its importance, the firm applies a rigorous process to its fund formation projects which involves studying prior investor negotiations and the approaches adopted by peer funds in the market, a thorough deliberation of proposed commercials and fund terms, and ultimately a structuring and documentation exercise to minimise legal, tax and regulatory inefficiencies.
Key transactions include advising:
■ A leading GCC sovereign wealth fund in connection with various investments, including
■ Its investment in National Investment and Infrastructure Fund’s Master Fund and the investment management entity
■ Its investment in a pre-stress and distressed assets fund managed by Kotak Investment Advisors
■ Roadis the roads platform owned by one of the largest Canadian pension fund managers, PSP Investment, on the establishment of its investment platform with NIIF for investments in the roads and highways sector
Key Clients: A leading GCC sovereign wealth fund, PSP
Contacts: Karam Daulet-Singh (New Delhi) and Ruchir Sinha (Mumbai)

Structured Finance:
From pioneering the first-ever structured finance product (popularly known as NCDs) to executing complex structured credit transactions, members of the team have an exceptional understanding of the regulatory, insolvency, litigation and tax issues that are most critical to navigate the private debt investment cycle for large institutional players. Members of the team have worked on a wide array of credit transactions including mezzanine debt, venture debt, foreign currency convertible bonds, structured debt investments, special situation investments and securitisation transactions.
Key Transactions include advising:
■ A member of the team have assisted several funds, including the Government of Singapore (GIC), Brookfield Asset Management, Proprium Capital Partners, Xander Group and Aditya Birla Real Estate, in private debt and structured finance transactions and also with setting up several special situations and distressed asset funds
Contact: Karam Daulet-Singh (New Delhi) and Ruchir Sinha (Mumbai)

Investment Platforms & Fund Formation:
The firm views fundraising as the foundation of the lifecycle of an investment fund and as a critical piece that informs various aspects of its operations and investment programme. In light of its importance, the firm applies a rigorous process to its fund formation projects which involves studying prior investor negotiations and the approaches adopted by peer funds in the market, a thorough deliberation of proposed commercials and fund terms, and ultimately a structuring and documentation exercise to minimise legal, tax and regulatory inefficiencies.
Key transactions include advising:
■ A leading GCC sovereign wealth fund in connection with various investments
■ Its investment in National Investment and Infrastructure Fund’s Master Fund and the investment management entity
■ Its investment in a pre-stress and distressed assets fund managed by Kotak Investment Advisors.
■ Roadis the roads platform owned by one of the largest Canadian pension fund managers, PSP Investment, on the establishment of its investment platform with NIIF for investments in the roads and highways sector
Key Clients: A leading GCC sovereign wealth fund, PSP
Contacts: Karam Daulet-Singh (New Delhi) and Ruchir Sinha (Mumbai)

Private Equity/Venture Capital:
The firm advises the entire range of financial investors — sovereign wealth funds, private equity houses, venture capital funds, diversified conglomerates and investment management firms — on their financial investments in Indian businesses. The firm has experience with advising clients on both early and late stage investments as well as structuring and negotiating exits as part of private sales and IPOs. While there are varying ‘market practices’ across financial investments in India, the firm’s understanding of the Indian market and the risk appetites of clients enables it to provide balanced inputs on the various commercial calls that typically need to be made on such deals.
Key transactions include acting for:
■ A leading GCC sovereign wealth fund and TPG on their investment in UPL Corporation
■ The Carlyle Group on its acquisition of Atotech B.V. from Total
■ Tencent on several transactions, including its investments in Flipkart, Ola Cabs, Policy Bazaar, Gaana, Hike, Byju’s, Practo, Morus Technologies, MyGate, Doubtnut, Pratilipi, Khatabook and PocketFM
■ Wellington Management on several transactions, including the divestment of its entire shareholding in NSE, its investments in BlackBuck and Juspay and its follow-on investment in Swiggy
Key Clients: A leading GCC sovereign wealth fund, Tencent, Wellington Management
Contact: Karam Daulet-Singh (New Delhi), Ruchir Sinha (Mumbai), Yashasvi Mohanram (Bangalore)