May 2008
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Actis Biologics to raise USD 30 Mn funding from PE firms

Plans to set up two new plants, market a new technology. Actis Biologics (ABPL), the Indian arm of US-based biotech drug discovery company Actis Biologics Inc, plans to raise about $30 million by selling stake to a clutch of private equity players to build two new plants and market a new process that will help other drug makers cut cost. The company will sell a 15 per cent stake to US- and Europe-based leading private equity investors, Sanjeev Saxena, chairman and founder, ABPL, said. The sale may be completed in the next four weeks. Leading biotechnology companies such as Biocon and Avesthagen are selling stakes to private equity players and other investors to raise money to discover new potential drugs that can be self-marketed or out-licensed to multinational pharmaceutical and biotech companies, such as Pfizer, Roche, Astra Zeneca and Amgen. [...]

Topsgrup to buy two companies for Rs 100 crore

Mumbai-based Topsgrup, the country's second-largest security solutions provider, is looking at two acquisitions to boost its market share from 13.2 per cent to 24 per cent. The Rs 2,500-crore organised Indian security industry, termed a sunrise industry, is dominated by multinational player Group 4 Securicor with a 25 per cent market share. “We have zeroed in on two companies down south: One in the electronic security systems space and the other in manned guarding services. The total cost of acquisition would be Rs 100 crore, that will be fully funded through internal accruals. We expect to seal the deals in the next six months,” Diwan Rahul Nanda, chairman and managing director, Topsgrup, said. The 37-year-old company closed the last financial year with revenues of Rs 330 crore. It foresees its top line touching Rs 600 crore and manpower crossing 1,00,000, through both organic and inorganic means, in this fiscal. [...]

VC, PE firms accelerate raising funds this year

Despite a meltdown in India’s equity markets, fresh capital continues to pour into venture and private equity funds with active plans for the country. Such firms have raised more than $1 billion (Rs4,260 crore today) in new funds in the first four months of this year alone, which is about half the total amount raised in 2007. Fund-raising, which had slowed down in the first half of 2007, is gathering momentum again. At its current rate, it may well match the record level of 2006, when private equity (PE) returned in a big way for the first time since the dotcom bust, raising $2.8 billion. After spending the last two years deploying funds, several venture capital (VC) and PE players are now raising fresh capital, to start off the next cycle of investments. “About 60-70% of the money raised is put to work in the first two-three years, so all those (who raised funds around 2006) will come back to fund-raising this year,” says Srini Vudayagiri, managing director, Lightspeed Venture Partners, which closed an $800 million global fund last fortnight. [...]