November 2007
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Khodays plans to acquire Australian winery for $50 mn

Traditional liquor powerhouse The House of Khodays is planning to acquire a winery in Australia. The deal, which is likely to be valued at around $50 million, would probably make it the biggest overseas wine hunt by an Indian company till date, a company official said. The move has surprised industry observers, as Khodays has been trying hard to revive its once-mighty spirits business that boasts of brands like Peter Scot and Red Knight whiskies. “We have kept aside Rs 1,000 crore for acquisitions and expansion over the next two years,” Khoday Group of Industries MD L Srihari Khoday told ET. He, however, declined to divulge more details. The share price of Khodays’ spirits flagship, Khoday India, has ballooned in the past one year from Rs 35 to a Friday closing of Rs 262, taking its market cap above Rs 1,000 crore. [...]

Amit Bhatia eyes 3 PE firms

Amit Bhatia, son-in-law of Arcelor Mittal chief LN Mittal, is negotiating with three Indian private equity funds for a sizeable stake as per its larger plans of stepping up investments in India. One of the funds he is negotiating with is run by a prominent Indian business family. The investments in India would be made through his PE fund Swordfish Investments and hedge fund Swordfish Capital Management. “We are very close to picking up a very substantial stake in an Indian fund, which we would also co-manage. I plan to close this deal by the end of this year and hope that it will propel me into a role of actively managing a fund in India. I am keen on picking up this stake because I would like to have a direct role in taking decisions and not just playing the role of a silent investor,” Mr Bhatia told ET in an exclusive interview. The deal would also provide Mr Bhatia a foothold in the Indian market and help him launch the group’s operations here. He is of the opinion that the Indian market is very attractive right now given the fact that the US and the European markets are showing signs of slowing down. [...]