December 2007
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Bollywood finds PE as a new source of cash

Bollywood is beginning to enjoy the benefits of corporatisation. As the world’s largest film industry organises itself into a bigger and better-managed entity, it’s being helped along by a steady infusion of funds, not the least from private equity (PE) investors, who have been pouring money into sectors like infrastructure and real estate. Although PE activity was slack in 2007—and no one is willing to give out details—experts believe that the New Year may see a lot of development on that front. With the industry growing at a frenetic pace, everyone agrees that filmmaking in India is no more the job of an individual producer or financier. Second, the growth of the film industry has attracted PE players the most. Third, with the onset of corporatisation, foreign investors feel investment in the film industry is a safe bet. According to a study by FICCI-PricewaterhouseCoopers, the size of the entertainment industry, which was pegged at Rs 8,400 crore in 2006, is likely to double by 2011. So, how are PE funds being routed to the industry? Experts say equity is coming into the industry through both foreign and domestic routes. According to reports, some of the big film production houses are in the race for PE funds to fuel their business growth plans. The trend began last year when PE investors like 3i, Cisco and Oman International Fund invested Rs 552 crore in the media and entertainment house Nimbus Communications—producer of films like Sarhad Paar, which flopped, and the Sanjay Dutt-starrer Yakeen. PE funds have got more aggressive plans in the movie sphere in the future. [...]

IDG Ventures India invests $2.5 million in iViZ

The $150-million early-stage technology venture capital fund, IDG Ventures India, and part of the IDG Ventures global network of venture capital funds, has announced its investment of $ 2.5 million in innovative network security and vulnerability management startup iViZ, founded by an IIT Kharagpur alumni who has introduced the world's first automated and on-demand penetration testing product. Kolkata-based iViZ has addresses the over $10 billion global security and vulnerability management market where losses due to identity theft in the US alone have been estimated at at annual $ 48 billion. The security and vulnerability management market has been growing annually at over 18 per cent. . ''It is our privilege to support iViZ founded by Bikash Barai and Nilanjan De,'' said Sudhir Sethi, chairman and managing director, IDG Ventures India. ''This investment is based on our thrust of investing in disruptive software product firms out of India with a potential to scale globally. Security is a key market for us. iViZ has built a highly committed and innovative team whose first product has already generated significant market traction and is well positioned to be a leader worldwide,'' iViZ received recognition as being amongst Asia's top five security startups in the Global Security Challenge held by London Business School in September 2007. The company plans to utilise the investment to build its sales team in North America, Europe, Middle East/APAC and India and to significantly enhance its product development initiatives. [...]

Standard Chartered to invest $50 m in UTI Securities

Asia-focused British bank Standard Chartered said on Tuesday it plans to invest $50 million in Indian brokerage UTI Securities Ltd until 2010. It also said it has received the Reserve Bank of India's approval for its 49 per cent acquisition in UTI Securities. The bank has the option to raise its stake to 100 per cent in phases by 2010, it said in a statement. UTI Securities offers broking, wealth management and investment banking services across 60 cities in India. (Sify) [...]

TV18 acquires strategic control in Infomedia India

TV18 has acquired strategic control in Infomedia India and will buy upto 53% stake, reports CNBC-TV18. TV18 will acquire 40% stake from ICICI Venture and 20% via open offer. TV18 has acquired 40% stake from ICICI Venture for Rs 178 crore. Infomedia will issue 50 lakh fresh warrants to TV18 and 10 lakh fresh warrants to ICICI Venture. TV18 will make open offer for 20% in Infomedia at Rs 237.08 per share. TV18 has an option to buy up to 13% from ICICI Ventures if the open offer fails.(Money Control) [...]