October 2007
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Helion Ventures invests $5.1 mn in Hurix

India-focused venture fund Helion Ventures today announced an investment of $5.1 million (around Rs 20 crore) in Mumbai-based Hurix Systems – a online publishing & e-learning company. In addition to the funding, Kanwaljit Singh, MD, Helion Ventures and Natarajan Ranganathan, CFO – Investment Advisor at Helion Ventures will join the Hurix Systems board. Hurix has clients like the McGraw-Hill Group, Prentice Hall School, Scott Foresman, Pearson Learning Group, LG Electronics, Cathay Pacific, DHL Express, Johnson & Johnson, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Pepsi.(Business Standard) [...]

Ranbaxy agrees to hike stake in Zenotech to 45 pct

Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd said it has agreed to increase its stake in Zenotech Laboratories Ltd to 45 pct from 7 pct, by paying about 2.14 bln rupees or 160 rupees per share. In a filing with the Bombay (OTCBB:BBAO) Stock Exchange, Ranbaxy said the stake hike will be via a purchase of shares from existing promoters and a preferential offer to Ranbaxy from Zenotech. Ranbaxy added this will trigger a mandatory open offer by Ranbaxy to other shareholders of Zenotech, at a price of 160 rupees per share or as determined by Indian regulator SEBI's rules. Post the offer, the existing promoter group of Zenotech will have a 25 pct stake in its expanded equity capital. Zenotech has received three Indian approvals for oncology biopharmaceuticals. It has a pipeline of a further seven biopharmaceutical products in different stages, all developed in-house, Ranbaxy added.(CNN) [...]

Foreign IT cos, SIDBI likely to buy 25% in Mennen Aviation

Mauritius-based gaming firm Pallagames and UK-based IT firm Trilogix along with Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) are close to picking up around 25% stake in Mennen Aviation and Hospitality (MAHL), a Mumbai-based, real estate, gaming and aviation services firm. “We have already finalised an equity deal with Sidbi while negotiations are on with Pallagames and Trilogix. MAHL has plans to raise around Rs 150 crore through a mix of debt and equity for our expansion plans. We have plans to offload around 25% equity to raise part of the required funds,” MAHL managing director Dinesh Menon said. MAHL is currently developing around 100 acres of land in Mumbai, Goa and Karnataka. The firm is also setting up around 15 service apartments in these regions by 2012. The first project is coming up at Goa, which will be operational by the end of the year. The company has also identified centres like Kochi, Karwar, Gurgaon, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad for setting up service apartments. MAHL is also setting up gaming centres along with its service centres. The firm has plans to set up an aviation training centre in Goa. [...]

Internet cos back in favour with venture capital funds

Internet companies are back in favour with the venture capital community. Four Interactive — the company which runs asklaila.com — has raised $10 million in venture capital from Lightspeed Venture Partners and the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). A few months ago, the company had raised its first round of funding from Matrix Partners. The company is yet to start making revenues and marketing itself. Founded by two former Microsoft executives, the firm was started in November 2006 to fill the gap for city-based information on shops, restaurants, pubs and other facilities through more relevant search results and contextual information about these facilities, in addition to an online yellow pages kind of directory listing. The site has already gone live with information on Bangalore, and has gone in for additional funding to finance its expansion into other cities. “In the US, around 7-8% of advertising is online. In India, it is not even 1%,” said Shriram Adukoorie, one of the founders. Mr Adukoorie, who set up MSN in India and was its country manager from 1999-2003, quit to start the firm with Kiran Konduri, a colleague in Microsoft and Wipro. [...]

US PE fund buys stake in Prabhudas Lilladher

Foreign investors’ appetite in Indian brokerage companies does not seem to be abating. Balyasny Asset Management — a US-based private equity fund has invested $10 million for 2.83% stake in Prabhudas Lilladher Advisory Services (PLAD). This is the holding company of Prabhudas Lilladher, a domestic brokerage firm. With the stake sale, the holding company has been valued at around Rs 1,450 cr. While the US fund has been investing in India across various sectors, it will be the first time that it has taken a stake in a financial services company. Prabhudas Lilladher is a broking firm, which has restructured itself to offer a gamut of capital market financial services such as institutional and retail broking, capital market, corporate advisory and a non-banking finance company (NBFC). PLAD was created to carry on corporate advisory business and is also the holding company of the entire PL group. Confirming the deal, senior company officials told ET that the company was planning to go in for a second round of funding sometime later at a premium to this deal. The company is looking at additional dilution of around 10% equity to raise approximately $50 million. [...]