November 2007
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Mauritian firm Tuscany to buy stake in Bharti Telecom

In a move that the Bharti Group claims it is unaware of, Mauritius-based Tuscany TMT Investments is buying stake in Bharti Telecom—the holding company of Bharti Airtel—and Bharti Teletech—the telecom equipment manufacturing arm of the group—from a private company. Tuscany has sought permission from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for the transactions. A Bharti spokesperson said the group will seek clarification about the transactions from the government departments concerned. “Bharti Teletech and Bharti Telecom are privately-held companies. The companies and promoters are not selling stake in any of these firms. We will seek clarification from the department concerned,” the Bharti spokesperson said. Sources in the Bharti Group said the company will seek details regarding the identity of both the seller and buyer. Tuscany is picking up 0.63% stake in Bharti Teletech and 0.3% in Bharti Telecom—both from securities firm Yatish Trading. Last week, Tuscany filed separate applications with FIPB, seeking approval for its equity stake in the Bharti Group companies. The ownership pattern of Tuscany could not be ascertained. [...]

Natixis out of IFCI stake sale

According to sources, Natixis has withdrawn and Blackstone as well may withdraw from IFCI stake sale. The bidders still in the fray are – GE Capital, Sterlite and MS, IDFC, WL Ross Consortium, Cargill, Shinsei and PNB. Earlier Kotak Mahindra Bank and Newbridge had dropped out. According to sources, Natixis, which is a French bank, has definitely pulled out. They had earlier expressed interest. Blackstone is also likely to withdraw in the next few days, analysts said. It is likely to signal its intention to the IFCI management that it wants to withdraw from the race, they added. Kotak Mahindra Bank and Newbridge have already withdrawn earlier, analysts said. This means that out of the 10 players who had initially expressed interest in IFCI, four have withdrawn and six players remain. [...]

India is a key market for investment in Asia

India is a key market in Asia for private equity (PE) funds looking to invest in distressed companies, according to New York-based private equity firm Clearwater Capital Partners, Llc. The six-year old firm focuses on small- and medium-sized distressed companies in Asia (excluding Japan) using both debt and equity. Clearwater has a total corpus of $1.7 billion (about Rs6,681 crore, pension fund California Public Employees’ Retirement System is a key investor), and this includes its latest $900 million fund that closed in June. In India, Clearwater said it has $450 million invested or committed across 26 companies, mostly in the last two-and-a-half-years. This includes investments in automotive-parts company Jamna Auto Industries Ltd, wire products manufacturer Diamond Cables Ltd, hospitality company Kamath Hotels (India) Ltd, and offshore services company Dolphin Offshore Enterprises (India) Ltd. The investments reflects the fund’s sector focus which includes manufacturing, hospitality, auto parts, power, and oil and gas. India and Korea are our two largest allocations of capital today. [...]

IDFC invests Rs35 cr in Doshion

IDFC Private Equity Co. Ltd has invested in Rs35 crore in Ahmedebad-based water management company Doshion Ltd, making the private equity fund a top investor in clean technology. Luis Miranda, president and chief executive of IDFC Private Equity, said this brings the fund’s total clean technology investment—which he defines as renewable energy, water and natural gas—to about $130 million (Rs510.9 crore). The fund has invested $22 million in natural gas transmission company Gujarat State Petronet Ltd, $40 million in manufacturer of solar cells and modules Moser Baer Photo Voltaic Inc., and has a pending investment of $60 million in a natural gas company that IDFC Private Equity seeded. There are a increasing number of private equity investors interested in clean technology, including water management. Many investors, however, have recently found it difficult to find investments in this sector. In 2005, ICICI Venture did a buyout of water treatment company VA Tech WABAG Ltd, India from its parent VA Tech WABAG GmbH, Austria. [...]

Ergo picks up 26% in HDFC insurance firm

Housing Development Finance Corp (HDFC), on Wednesday announced that it has sold 26 percent equity in its general insurance business to German insurer Ergo for an undisclosed amount. The country's largest housing finance company, will sell 32.5 million shares in HDFC General Insurance to Ergo, equivalent to 26 percent stake. The joint venture (JV) agreement also allows the German company to hike its stake to 49 percent as and when the FDI regulations change. “We are selling 26 percent equity in our general insurance to Ergo. We will be applying to the regulator and hope to get the approval within the next four weeks,” said HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh. The joint venture, which will be called HDFC Ergo General Insurance has a capitalisation of about $30 million. Earlier this year, HDFC bought its partner Chubb Corp's 26 percent stake in the general insurance venture after an uneasy relationship stalled growth. [...]

DS Constructions to pick up 22% of Greek company

Having successfully completed the $542 million acquisition of Globeleq America’s power assets in June this year, Delhi-based D S Constructions Ltd is now eyeing a share in a European company. It is expected to take up to 22% stake in Athens-based construction company Aegek SA for around $43.4 million (Rs 170 crore). A Bloomberg report said Aegek SA had informed Athens Stock Exchange that D S Constructions Ltd would be investing €30 million ($43.4 million) in buying the shares of the company. It may further increase the stake to 33% in the next three years, said Aegek in the statement to the stock exchange. However, officials at D S Constructions refused to comment on the development. After the acquisition of Globeleq America in 2007, D S Constructions was looking at more takeovers overseas to increase its presence in the power and construction sector. The recent development aptly complements the company’s plans of inorganic expansion strategy. [...]

Marico acquires Enaleni’s subsidiary

The Marico Group (Marico) today announced its entry into the South African ethnic hair care and Health care market. It has acquired the consumer division of Enaleni Pharmaceuticals Limited, through purchase of 100% shares in Enaleni Pharmaceuticals Consumer Division (Pty) Ltd (EPCD), an Enaleni subsidiary. The deal is valued at South African Rand (ZAR) 92.8 million (about Rs. 52 crore). Marico clinched this deal in a competitive bidding process. The Durban-based EPCD is present across segments such as Hair Relaxers, After Care -Hair Food and Hair Conditioners. EPCD’s Current annualised Turnover is about ZAR 95 Million that is about Rs 53 crore, (1 ZAR = Approx INR 5.6) EPCD operates 3 leading brands, viz. Caivil in premium ethnic hair care, Black Chic in VFM hair care, Hercules in OTC Health Care. [...]

Pyramid Saimira buys FunAsia theatres

Pyramid Saimira Theatre Limited (PSTL), a Chennai-based theatre chain, has acquired Texas-based theatre chain FunAsia through its subsidiary, Pyramid Saimira Entertainment America. The enterprise value of FunAsia is pegged at $25 million. The acquisition includes FunAsia’s theatre screens, radio station, magazine and banquet halls. “With this acquisition, which is an all-cash deal, the total number of screens under PSTL has increased to 703 globally. We will scale up the number of screens from 23 to 60 in the US and Canada by the year end so as to cover 80 to 90% of the South Asian population there. We plan to expand to other cities such as Chicago, Virginia, Los Angeles and San Hose”, PSTL managing director P S Saminathan said. PSTL, apart from South Asia and US, would also ramp up its presence in the UK, another lucrative market for Indian cinema. Also, the company would create a mega digital theatre chain. Asked about the source of funding, he said it has already raised $ 90 million through convertible debentures. [...]

Old Lane invests $26mn in KVK Energy

Old Lane Mauritius III, an investment vehicle of Old Lane India Opportunities Funds, has invested $26 million (around Rs 104 crore) in Hyderabad-based KVK Energy's flagship company – KVK Energy and Infrastructure Private. The investment by Old Lane in KVK Energy and Infrastructure will primarily help fund the latter's projects including the 1,200Mw KVK Nilachal power project in Orissa, a project being monitored by the Inter Institutional Group (IIG) set up by the ministry of power, and the 120Mw SV power project in Chhattisgarh. KVK Group, operating across conventional as well as renewable sources such as natural gas, LSHS, coal, biomass and hydro power, currently owns stakes in 9 power generation projects spread across 6 states. The Old Lane India Opportunities Funds were established in July 2006, and are sized at $518 million with a 10-year life. [...]

ePlanet Ventures Invests in Trivitron

ePlanet Ventures, the world’s leading global venture capital firm headquartered in Silicon Valley, California, announced an investment in India’s leading medical technology company Trivitron. The US$11 million investment, by ePlanet Ventures and HSBC Private Equity (Asia) Limited, will facilitate Trivitron’s ambitious manufacturing business plans through acquisitions and joint ventures and will be used for the infrastructural development for its forthcoming medical technology park. The proposed Rs 250-crore medical technology park is a first of its kind initiative and will promote indigenization of medical technology in India. Trivitron has also requested the Government of Tamil Nadu to allot 25 acres of land near Chennai to start this project. [...]