January 2011
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3i group plans $1.5-billion India infrastructure fund

3i Group Plc, Europe's largest publicly traded private equity firm, plans to start a $1.5 billion fund in about six months to invest in Indian infrastructure including railways, ports and roads. The fund, to be based in London, would probably target a return of between 13 per cent and 18 per cent, Chief Executive Officer Michael Queen said in an interview in New Delhi today. Queen is traveling as part of a delegation with UK Business Secretary Vince Cable, who is seeking to increase exports and secure investment for Britain. 3i, one of the U K's oldest private equity firms, is seeking to boost profit after the credit crisis slowed deal- making. India is planning to spend about $1 trillion in the five years to 2017 on upgrading its transport and power networks, which are ranked below those of war-ravaged Ivory Coast. […]

Ybrant raise $48 million in debt, equity

Hyderabad based digital marketing firm Ybrant Digital Ltd has raised $48 million in debt and equity from Oak India Investments and existing investors, Asia Pacific Capital and ICICI Bank. Founded in 2000, Ybrant Digital offers digital marketing solutions to businesses, agencies, and online publishers worldwide. It connects advertisers with their audience across any form of digital media through the most relevant digital channel. In August last year, it had acquired a search engine and web portal company Lycos Inc for $36 million. It intends to use the corpus raised for growing its reach, develop new technology, expand internationally and explore acquisitions, the company said in a statement. Source: Livemint […]

StanChart PE arm bids to enter infra sector through debt deals

Standard Chartered Private Equity Advisory (India) Pvt Ltd., or SCPE, has decided to offer debt finance alongside private equity (PE) finance as it seeks to enter India’s lucrative infrastructure sector. The PE arm of Standard Chartered Plc is currently working on three mezzanine deals—which include equity and debt components—in India and hopes to close at least two by March, Nainesh Jaisingh, managing director, SCPE, said in an interview last week. “For the first time in the history of Indian PE investing, four-five deals in the $200 million-plus category happened in 2010. All of these were infrastructure asset plays,” Jaisingh said. The Planning Commission has forecast a major ramp up in infrastructure spending—from $514 billion in the 11th Five-Year Plan (2007-12) to $1 trillion in the 12th plan (2012-17). […]

Booming private security agencies seek PE funding

As rapid economic expansion creates a booming market for private security services, small and mid-sized companies in the sector are seeking risk capital infusion to further expansion plans. Growing public infrastructure in the form of roads, airports, shopping malls and commercial complexes has triggered a boom in the market for security services that is expected to grow five-fold to reach a size of 30,000 crore by 2015. Delhi-based Security and Intelligence Services (India) is looking to raise nearly $100 million and is in talks with a slew of private equity firms . “The security sector is characterised by high growth, stable cash flows and margins, low capital expenditure and high returns,” said Rituraj Sinha, group chief operating officer of the firm that raised capital in 2008 from DE Shaw & Co , a New York-based hedge fund to acquire the Australian arm of the guarding and mobile patrol business unit of United Technologies. Globally too, the security services sector has been red hot for private equity funds. Most major global funds, such as Blackstone, Carlyle, Dublier & Rice, have invested in security services space in the US, Europe and Japan over the last decade. In India, PE firm ICICI Venture Funds Management invested $26.74 million in Topsgrup in 2007, while Standard Chartered Private Equity invested $33 million in Firepro Systems in late 2009. […]

PE investments double to $8 bn

Private equity and venture capital firms invested a whopping $7,974 million in about 325 deals in India during 2010 calender year, according to data released by by PE/VC research firm Venture Intelligence. PE investments in 2010 almost double to $7.9 billion compared with $4,068 million across 290 deals in 2009. This data excludes deals in real estate. PE/VC exits were the most interesting sectoral trend in 2010 with 121 transactions, including 24 via IPOs. PE-backed companies raised about $2.20 billion via IPOs, while 2009 witnessed just 66 liquidity events, including seven via IPOs. The largest IPO by a PE-backed firm in the year was the $359 million SKS Microfinance IPO. Among exits via strategic sales, ChrysCapital’s reported $400 million sale of its holdings in Infosys Technologies (in which it had invested about $175 million in May 2008) was among the most significant exits via public market sales Actis and Sequoia Capital India exited OTC drug firm Paras Pharmaceuticals via sale to UK-based Reckitt Benckiser for $726 million. Actis had held a 63% stake in Paras. […]

Komli Media raises $15m for research and media units

Komli Media, a digital media network and audience measurement firm, has raised $15m in a funding round led by Norwest Venture Partners, backed by existing investors Nexus and Helion Venture Partners. Komli said the additional capital will be used to fuel “aggressive expansion” throughout India and across key markets in Asia Pacific. Investments will be made in both the digital media network and ViziSense, the company’s online audience and ad measurement business. ViziSense was recently launched in Australia, and is thought to be bidding to become IAB Australia’s “preferred supplier” of online audience measurement services. […]

Dandekars in talks to sell 15% stake in Camlin

The Dandekar family, owners of the 80-year-old office stationery major, Camlin, is in talks with private equity major India Value Fund to sell a part of its shareholding to part finance growth plans. The promoters— four members from the Dandekar family — own close to 40% in Camlin. According to people with knowledge of the talks, the negotiations are for valuing a stake close to 15% stake. It would be in addition to a borrowing programme as the Rs 330-crore Camlin battles rivals such as Faber-Castle and Pidilite . The deal could be for around Rs 100 crore . Chairman Dilip Dandekar denied any deal was in the offing . “We had diluted the holding 2-3 years back. As for professionalising the management, we have already initiated the process.” The talks with Camlin, a leader in office and school stationery and an iconic brand for most school going children, could eventually lead to a gradual divestment by the Mumbai-based family, which is seeking to professionalise the company management, said people close to the family. […]

PE investors still find it hard to get clean-tech deals

Reliance Venture Asset Management Pvt. Ltd co-invested $12 million (Rs54.72 crore) in biomass power-focused AllGreen Energy India Pvt. Ltd, ending a three-and-a-half-year search for an “investable” clean-tech firm. There are only a few quality companies in this space, said Harshal J. Shah, chief executive of Reliance Venture, the venture capital (VC) arm of the Reliance Group, formerly known as the Reliance-Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (R-Adag). “There are two kinds of deals in India in this space—a form of implementation play and smaller tech-innovation deals. It is an implementation versus innovation game here,” he said. “Most large PE deals are in the implementation side. VC’s focus is on innovation.” By implementation play, Shah refers to technologies or models companies adopt from others and implement locally, such as hydropower generation that need large capital. Clean-tech innovation is about companies designing a new technology to generate power in a cost-effective manner with minimum emissions. […]

Coastal Projects buys 26 per cent in Italy's SELI for Rs108 crore

Coastal Projects Limited has acquired a 26-per cent stake in Societa Esecuzione Lavori Idraulici S.p.A (SELI) of Italy, for around 17.85 million euros (approximately Rs108 crore). SELI, one of the world's most experienced tunneling contractors, has established operations across the world, including India. Hyderabad-based Coastal Projects, a civil engineering and construction firm, specialises in tunneling and underground excavation for hydro-electric, irrigation, rail, road and mining projects. The company has successfully completed more than 75 km of tunneling work and has 250 km under execution at present. […]

Marico set to buy Unibic India

Bangalore-based Unibic India Private Ltd is being bought over by FMCG giant Marico Ltd headquartered in Mumbai, reported a TV news channel on Friday. The channel said Marico will pay Rs 130 crore for 51 per cent stake in the privately held company and the deal will be announced by the end of this month. When contacted, senior officials in Marico and in Unibic did not confirm the news. But a source close to the deal told Deccan Herald that Unibic India is certainly talking to Marico and they are expected to sign the takeover agreement soon. Marico (2009-10 revenue Rs 2,661 crore and net profit Rs 232 crore) is a 17 year old consumer products company with welknown brands like Parachute, Saffola, Nihar, Mediker, Revive etc. Unibic India is a leading cookies company with an estimated sales of around Rs 60 crore in 2010. […]