October 2007
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Veta gets $10mn funding, set for global foray

Private equity fund SAIF Partners has invested $10 million in Amoha Education Pvt Ltd, the holding company of spoken English training academy Veta. With this investment, US-based SAIF Partners has increased its Indian portfolio of investments to 14 companies, including NSE, Sify, IL&FS Investsmart, Intelligroup, Makemytrip.com, HomeShop18 and Slashsupport, among others. Armed with fresh funds infusion, Veta is set to extend its success in India into the global arena, Veta chairman V Rajagopalan said. From 150 centres in 90 Indian cities currently, Veta plans to upgrade this to 500 centres on its educational rollcall by 2010. The company operates a centre in every district of India, and will commence operations in Singapore by December, before diversifying to other Asian countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Korea, Indonesia and China. ''China will be a huge market for us with 350 million people in that country wanting to converse in English,'' Sreenadha Reddy, general manager – branding, Veta, said. ''We also plan to reach out to American and European markets.'' [...]

Infinite India to pump Rs200 cr in realty firm

The realty-oriented private equity firm, Infinite India Investment Management, backed by JM Financial Ltd, is investing Rs200 crore (about $50 million) in realty firms belonging to the Kolkata-based Shrachi Group. The funds would be allocated for projects proposed in the eastern cities of the country. For Infinite India, which has drawn up plans to invest $400 million in the country’s realty business over the next two years, this is its largest single investment commitment to date. It will be picking up an undisclosed minority stake in both Shrachi’s wholly-owned subsidiaries Shrachi Developers Pvt. Ltd and Shrachi Realty Pvt. Ltd. Shrachi itself has drawn up plans for investing about Rs500 crore over the next couple of years. The funding will help Shrachi accelerate expansion plans, said Rahul Todi, managing director, Shrachi Developers. Infinite India has committed about $200 million in investments for projects across the country, said Karthik Sarma, chairman of Infinite India. The proposed projects include a 32-acre mixed-use development in Mumbai, 1.8 million sq. ft IT park in Chennai, and entry-level investments in realty and hospitality players in Bangalore, Kolkata and New Delhi.(Livemint) [...]

IPS picks up 55% stake in Scantrans

International Press Softcom (IPS), a Singapore headquartered supply chain services major, is acquiring majority stake in the Chennai-based print and packaging company Scantrans. IPS, listed on Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX) is picking up 55% stake in Scantrans for over $5 million (Rs 20 crore). IPS, with annualized revenue of over $130 million, is a significant player in the integrated supply chain services market across Asia-Pacific and counts high technology clients like Apple, Dell, HP and Intuit as its key accounts. Print and packaging and media replication figure prominently in its supply chain services play. Set up in 1994, Scantrans has client base across sectors like pharma, electronics goods and hardware, FMCG and automobiles. It is projected to end the year with a turnover in excess of Rs 40 crore during the ongoing financial year. The customer list includes names like Cipla, Orchid, Flextronics, Motorola, Panasonic, Ford and BMW. Veda Corporate Advisors was advisor in this cross border deal making. [...]

Kohlberg Kravis plans India entry

In the rarified world of private equity, people speak of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Company (KKR) with awe. One of the largest PE firms in the world, the firm has near mythic proportions, in large part because it seems to have access to an endless supply of funds that allow the company to buy into practically any asset in the world that catches its fancy. This year alone, the company announced acquisitions worth $123 billion. Sources say the firm now has plans to get into India. ''A few law firms, including us, have been sounded off by KKR to help set up operations in India,'' said the CEO of a New Delhi-based legal firm who did not wish to be named. Officials at KKR's offices in New York declined to comment. Last week though, a senior partner at KKR told TOI that ''Unlike in the West where private equity has acquired negative connotations, in India and other markets, it is viewed as a sexy business. We are looking at India closely.'' As things stand right now, KKR has made one investment in the country. The deal was completed last year when the company picked up the software business of Flextronics International for $900 million. The company has offices in Palo Alto, Singapore and operates predominantly out of Bangalore, For KKR, the investment in Flextronics was its second investment in Asia. KKR's current operations in Asia include recently opened offices in Hong Kong and Tokyo. The company is believed to be looking at China and Korea too as potential outposts to begin operations. [...]

PE funds to top $13.5 bn

Private equity (PE) investment in the country are set to touch $13.5 billion this year, making India one of the top seven recipients of such funding in the world, a new study said. It is projected to reach around $20 billion by 2010. According to a study by research firm Evalueserve, there are more than 366 PE firms operating in the country while another 69 are planning to start operations soon. “They have amassed $48 billion, which are earmarked for investments in India in the next three and a half years,” says the report. Investments made by private equity firms in India have seen a drastic rise, touching $7.46 billion from 299 deals in 2006. The figures stood at $2.18 billion from 146 deals in 2005. The investments were just $20 million from five deals in 1996. [...]

Foreign funds raise $30 b for Indian realty investment

Foreign funds and institutions have, till date, raised approximately $30 billion to be invested in Indian real estate with an estimate of $3 billion that has been committed, according to real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield. The industry is progressing up the learning curve, and the spectrum of private equity transactions range from project-specific special purpose vehicles (SPVs) to entity-level investments. According to Cushman & Wakefield’s latest report ‘India Gaining Momentum-Indian real estate investment dynamics’, investments in the market have spread rather evenly over three broad investment vehicles. While a majority of the investment still remained either at the portfolio and SPV-level partnership, at 40 per cent and 36 per cent respectively, the number of entity-level partnerships formed 26 per cent of the total investment in the sector. [...]

Wadia family to sell a stake in GoAir

The Wadia family is evaluating proposals to sell a stake in Go Airlines (India) Pvt Ltd, which owns low-fare carrier GoAir. “We have not yet made a decision,” GoAir managing director Jeh Wadia told the media at a news conference in New Delhi yesterday, without giving any details. However, sources indicated that the family might sell up to 26 per cent, depending on the terms and conditions. Most Indian low-cost carriers are looking for mergers and alliances (M&As) to reduce costs, after Jet Airways bought Sahara Airlines in April and Kintgfisher Airlines snapped up Air Deccan in May. The two state-owned carriers, Air India and Indian airlines, have also merged. India's aviation industry lost Rs2,000 crore ($500 million) last year, according to the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation as a large number of airlines have started in the past four years, lured by a market that is expected to grow at around 25 per cent annually until the end of the decade. [...]

UBS, Merrill Lynch,Morgan Stanley pick equity stake in ICSA

ICSA (India) Ltd, one of the top runners in the mid cap segment has caught the attention of large investors like UBS Securities Asia Limited, Merrill Lynch & Morgan Stanley. The three entities have picked up 3.47 per cent (2,80,665 shares), 3.32 % (2,68,540 shares) and 1.83% (1,48,292 shares) respectively in ICSA (India). “It is our privilege to get associated with international investment companies like these. This reasserts the confidence of investors in the long term growth of ICSA,” said Mr. G Bala Reddy, CMD, ICSA (India). The move would help ICSA build further on its strengths for providing products to the global marketplace. “There is immense scope for embedded software products that provide solutions for power and gas supply networks,” added Mr. Reddy. Early this year, Goldman Sachs, a global investment bank, invested $46 million through FCCBs apart from acquiring 3,50,000 Convertible warrants. ICSA (India) has recently declared a final dividend of 38% on equity shares for the financial year 2006-07. It has also announced sub-division of its shares where in an equity share with a face value of Rs 10 each has been converted into 5 equity shares of face value of Rs 2 each.(Money Control) [...]