August 2008
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Kam-Avida raises equity from Peepul Capital

Waste management equipment manufacturer, Kam-Avida Enviro Engineers, today said that it has raised equity from Peepul Capital Fund II LLC. The company, however, did not disclose the amount raised. Kam-Avida intends to use the funds to set up a manufacturing and assembly facility which would help it ramp-up production capacity and to strengthen its sales and marketing presence, a press release issued here stated. Peepul is a leading India-focussed private equity fund. Kam-Avida would invest a part of the capital to strengthen its balance-sheet to foray into wet-lease services for large-scale sewage cleaning and maintenance, the release said. […]

VC funds bullish on Irda's move

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority’s (Irda) move to allow insurance companies to invest in venture capital (VC) funds could help them raise money more easily, but it could take up to 12 months for insurers to start investing. On Friday, Irda allowed life insurers to invest 3 per cent of their total investible corpus in VC funds or 10 per cent of the fund’s size, whichever is lower. For general insurers, the limit is 5 per cent of their investment assets or 10 per cent of the fund size, whichever is lower. Based on life insurers’ assets under management of Rs 700,000 crore, potentially over Rs 21,000 crore can flow from this segment alone. Canaan Partners CEO Alok Mittal said the move is a good beginning, but does not translate into immediate gains. […]

Foreign venture cos fund medical retail chain’s back-end business

Two venture capital firms have invested $25 million (Rs109 crore) in Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical retailer MedPlus Health Services Pvt. Ltd in the first publicly known foreign investment in a medical store chain. NEA-IndoUS Ventures, a Santa Clara, California-based venture fund, and an unnamed fund from West Asia have jointly invested the amount in MedPlus for an undisclosed stake, a person close to the transaction said, asking not to be identified ahead of a formal announcement. A top MedPlus executive, too, declined details. “It’s confidential,” said Madhukar Gangadi, chief executive of MedPlus. “At this point of time I am unable to tell you anything.” Since India bars overseas investments in a retail venture selling multi-branded products to consumers, the two foreign funds have invested in MedPlus’ wholesale arm. […]

Companies turn to PEs for M&A funding

Competitors are increasingly becoming collaborators when it comes to mergers and acquisitions (M&A) as the credit crunch has made it difficult for corporates to find bridge loans. These strategic buyers are now collaborating with private equity (PE) investors to access funds for big ticket overseas deals. Traditionally, strategic buyers compete with PEs. For example, Tata Motors last year had to compete with One Equity Partners, TPG and Ripplewood Holdings LLC in its bid to buy European luxury brands Jaguar and Land Rover (JLR). The company took a $3-billion bridge loan to finance the deal. […]

Infosys acquires UK’s Axon for Rs3,269 crore

In the largest acquisition by an Indian technology services firm, Infosys Technologies Ltd made a £407.1 million, or Rs3,269 crore, cash offer to acquire the UK-based Axon Group Plc. If the deal goes through, it would not only expand the Indian company’s key SAP software and consulting capabilities, but also enhance its footprint in Europe, equipping India’s second largest IT services company to bid for larger, transformational outsourcing contracts. The London Stock Exchange listed Axon reported a net profit of £20.2 million (Rs160 crore) on revenue of £204.5 million (Rs1,660 crore) for 2007. Axon, which has no debt on its books, provides consulting services to customers such as British Petroleum Plc. and Xerox Corp. that have chosen SAP AG’s business software as their company-wide platform. Founded in 1994, Axon has offices in the UK, North America, Malaysia and Australia, with about 2,000 employees. […]

India story still attracts venture capital funds

Venture capitalists (VCs) raising new funds dedicated to the Indian market are not finding the going tough despite a global slowdown impacting availability of capital. For instance, Clearstone Venture Advisors, a global venture capital fund with over $650 million of committed capital for investment globally, plans to close its fourth fund soon. The fund, which could be over $200 million, will also have a larger share of investments in India. The company had raised $210 million for its third fund, of which 20 to 25 per cent was dedicated for investments in India.Similarly, Seed Fund, which invests in early start-ups, is in the process of raising its second fund. The fund, which will be in the range of $50-60 million, will be closed by the end of this year. […]