July 2007
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Indian VC firms invest in Kirusa of US

US-based mobile value-added services provider Kirusa has received 10 million dollars in funding from venture capital firms Nexus India Capital and Helion Venture Partners, reports Our Bureau in Mumbai. As a result of the investment, Helion Venture MD Ashish Gupta and Naren Gupta from Nexus would join the board of directors of the company. […]

Biocon to sell enzymes biz for USD 115 mn

Biocon Ltd today said it will sell its enzymes venture to Denmark-based Novozymes for USD 115 million to focus on core bio-pharmaceuticals business. The agreement between the two companies has been signed today and the business transfer agreements are expected to be dosed before the end of third quarter of calendar year 2007, the company said in a communique to the Bombay Stock Exchange. “We believe this is the right time to divest our enzymes business and focus on unleashing the full potential of our bio-pharma businesses,” Biocon Chairperson and Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said. […]

Tata to ink India's biggest overseas takeover?

India’s largest conglomerate Tata Group is in the early stages of evaluating a bid for the Jaguar and Land Rover brands which, if completed, would rank among India's biggest overseas takeover deals, The Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday . Tata Motors, which is controlled by Ratan Tata, India's best-known businessman, is understood to have instructed advisers to begin evaluating the merits of a joint offer for Jaguar and Land Rover, which have been earmarked for disposal by struggling American car giant Ford. Analysts suggest that Jaguar and Land Rover may fetch about USD 1.5 billion. Sources told CNN-IBN that Tata Motors' evaluation of a bid was at an “exploratory” stage and that speculation is rife that Tata Motors has already signed a confidentiality agreement with Ford in recent days. […]

GVFL to enhance focus on IT, Biotech & SME by 2010

GVFL Ltd, India’s pioneer venture capital company today on the completion of its 17 years of successful seed and early stage investing shared its growth plans till 2010. GVFL plans to enhance its existing fund portfolio by setting up Rs. 250 crore SME Technology Venture Fund, which would invest in both early and growth stage companies. “From this SME Fund GVFL will not only explore new investment opportunities but also provide additional investments to its existing investee companies who have good growth potential.” Said Mr. Vishnu Varshney, CEO of GVFL Ltd. GVFL is also looking at setting up a Tourism Fund in the near future and had started the initial planning process for the same. This fund with will be set up in association with the Government of Gujarat. […]

Yahoo! buys minor stake in PR firm

To signify its growing focus in the Indian online advertising networks, Yahoo! today announced an over 35% investment in Gurgaon-based Tyroo Media, , an advertising and public relations company and part of Smile Interactive Technologies Group. The deal size was not disclosed. The move comes as part of Yahoo's strategy to invest aggresively in technology and sales networks through small and medium-sized advertisers and publishers in India. George Zacharias, managing director, Yahoo! India said: “Through this investment, Yahoo! will act as a catalyst for the entire ad-network industry, which is still in a nascent stage, in India.” The investment gives Yahoo Inc a representation on the Tyroo board. […]

Helion strikes tenth deal, nearly half of fund corpus invested

Helion Venture Partners, backed by Silicon Valley venture capital investor Sutter Hill Ventures, is emerging the fastest deal-maker this round of early-stage VC investing in India. The $140 million fund closed it tenth deal within eleven months of launch on 17 July with a $10 million infusion (with Nexus India Capital) in New Jersey-based Kirusa Inc. Next week the fund is slated to announce another mid-sized investment in an undisclosed knowledge process outsourcing company. With these two new deals, Helion would have deployed close to half of its corpus. “It is safe to say we will not run out of money anytime soon,” says Ashish Gupta, managing director, Helion Venture Partners. So far, half of the fund’s investments comprise early stage companies and half, mid-sized companies. Deal sizes have varied between $ 1 million and $ 6 million. Recent deals include Bangalore-based equity research firm Amba Research and Noida-based publishing outsourcing firm Mindworks Global. […]

Softbank, Blackstone eye Flag stake

A clutch of private equity funds, including Softbank Capital and Blackstone, are in the race to acquire a minority stake in Flag Telecom, the submarine cable arm of Reliance Communications. Reliance Communications is planning to raise over $500 million by diluting a 20-25 per cent stake in Flag Telecom. The company is planning to go in for a private equity placement prior to a public offering. “The unlocking of value in Flag Telecom, which operates our undersea cable network, will be done through a private equity placement of equity and/or international listing of shares of the company by the end of this year,” Chairman Anil Ambani told Reliance Communications shareholders at the company's annual general meeting on Tuesday. […]

Avesthagen buys US company for $11 mn

Avestha Gengraine Technologies (Avesthagen), a Bangalore-based integrated systems biology company, has acquired Renaissance Herbs (RHI), a US dietary supplement company, for $11 million. The acquisition will support Avesthagen’s bio-nutritional business strategy through vertical integration and provide access to key markets. RHI is a Delaware-based company, which is a global supplier of proprietary nutritional products. The company also sources its raw materials from India and South East Asia for processing in its contract facilities outside Bangalore. […]

PE funds look beyond India

The temporary overheating of the Indian markets has led private equity (PE) investors opt for the cooler environs of south-east Asia. “The valuation of Indian companies is very high. But since this is a temporary phase, we are looking at SE Asian markets instead for tactical reasons. In India, we see a lot of capital chasing limited numbers of deals, but we get better deals outside India,” said Electra Partners’ Hong Kong-based head of Asian markets John Levack. Mr Levack is the UK-based private equity company’s representative on the board of directors of Zensar Technologies. He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the IT company’s AGM. […]

India sees a rush of PE funds

Private equity (PE) is pouring into India. PE investment worth $5.7 billion has already come in the first half of calendar 2007, which amounts to three-fourth of total inflows in last year. In 2006, the country witnessed PE investment of $7.5 billion. If that's not enough, PE flows jumped nearly 70% in the second quarter April-June this year to about $3.2 billion, across 76 companies, as against 67 deals totalling $1.9 billion in corresponding April-June period in 2006. In the first quarter this year (January-March), PE investments were pegged at $2.5 billion. As regards venture capital, firms invested about $112 million across 19 deals during the second quarter of 2007, as against nearly $40 million during April-June previous year. […]