February 2008
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For pvt equity, HR consulting’s the next stop

Gaurav Mathur's India Equity Partners, $350 million fund invested $8 million in Bangalore-based Ikya Human Capital Solutions earlier this month. Ikya operates in the human resources (HR) services business and offers executive search, contingency recruitment, staffing and training solutions. Such companies, many agree, could be the next genie from the bottle that private equity would latch on to. “The deal (Ikya) could very well be the beginning of a trend, what with one of the main bottlenecks for growth across various sectors being the difficulty in finding the right people,” says Arun Natarajan, founder and chief executive officer of Venture Intelligence, a provider of information and networking services to the private equity ecosystem in India. [...]

Indiabulls to buy Dev Property for Rs 1,092 cr

Indiabulls Real Estate (IBREL), India’s fourth biggest developer by market value, will acquire its partner Dev Property Development (DPD) in an all-stock deal. Indiabulls has valued Dev Property at £138 million (about Rs 1,091.85 crore) and the share at 100 pence, based on the closing price of IBREL at Rs 654.40 on Wednesday (at an exchange rate of Rs 79.12 for every Pound Sterling). IBREL will issue new shares in the form of global depository receipts (to be listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange’s Euro MTF) equivalent to the valuation of DPD. Indiabulls is offering 0.12091 of a global depository receipt for each share of London-listed Dev Property, the Mumbai-based real estate company said. The offer matches the £138 million Dev Property raised when it sold shares in January 2007 in the Alternate Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange. The stock has since fallen 24.5 per cent. The proposal to buy DPD was approved by the IBREL board at a meeting today. The deal is subject to The approval of shareholders and certain regulatory approvals. [...]

ICICI Venture buys 15% in Arrow Webtex

Private equity firm ICICI Venture has picked up a 14.9% stake in Mumbai-based textile and real estate development firm Arrow Webtex through a preferential allotment. The deal is estimated to be in the region of around Rs 130-140 crore. The transaction gives the private equity fund a stake marginally below the level which mandates an open offer for public listed firms in India. Arrow Webtex is engaged in the business of woven and printed labels, elastic tapes, apart from various activities related to real estate, hospitality and gaming business through its subsidiaries. For the quarter ending December 2007, it had consolidated net sales of Rs 46.03 crore with consolidated net profit of Rs 2.76 crore. The company has a market capitalisation of around Rs 645 crore. As per the disclosures made to the stock exchanges, ICICI Venture, which manages various private equity, real estate and mezzanine funds, has picked up around 2.03 crore shares through the allotment last week. If the deal was struck at the market price on the day, it would be valued at about Rs 132 crore. However, preferential allotments are usually done at a small premium. [...]

BTS to invest $4 million in QAI India

BTS Investment Advisors, a Switzerland-based private equity fund, is all set to invest around $4 million in QAI India Limited (QAI India), one of the leading global consulting organisations addressing ‘Operational Excellence’ in IT, BPO and knowledge-intensive organisations for a significant minority position. BTS India Fund has a corpus of $80 million, with prominent institutions as anchor investors including the Swiss government, ADB, The Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO) and the International Cooperation and Development Fund, Taiwan. The fund targets medium-size companies of growth sectors which are either export driven or address the booming domestic markets, and seeks significant minority stakes in these companies. According to sources close to the deal, the transaction is likely to be inked in the next few days. However when contacted, K Srinivas, Managing Partner declined to comment. [...]