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Deutsche Bank Launches India Property Fund

RREEF Alternative Investments, the $90 billion property arm of Deutsche Bank, has launched a new operation in India. The new venture, named RREEF India Advisors Private Limited, will be run locally by country head Kishore Gotety. There will be a team of six to provide real estate and infrastructure advice to RREEF's funds. At the same time, RREEF has announced that it will buy a 60% stake in a mixed-use property development in Hyderabad, where it will partner with NCC Urban. The project is located close to the international airport. It will take five years and will consist of commercial, residential and hotel space. This will complement its first Indian property venture, a $70 million stake in developer Golden Gate Properties. […]

Axis Bank's private equity arm raises $148 mn

The private equity arm of Indian private sector Axis Bank said on Tuesday its infrastructure fund had raised 6 billion rupees ($148 million). Axis Private Equity said it had already committed more than half of the fund, and it would focus on companies that build transport, irrigation, energy networks and hotel developers. “The fund was raised within five to six months from its launch in turbulent market conditions,” the company said in a statement, adding it aimed to eventually raise up to $600 million. The federal government has estimated India will need about $500 billion between 2007 and 2012 to modernise and expand the country's creaky power and transport networks. […]

3i Infotech buys US co Regulus for $80 mn

IT software and services provider 3i Infotech on Tuesday said it has acquired Regulus Group, a US-based payment and document processing company, for nearly $100 million, in a move that would increase the Indian company’s overseas presence, besides increasing its revenue. The cost of the acquisition is approximately $80 million, with an additional $20 million based on earn-outs linked to its performance in the next two years. The acquisition is an all-cash deal, funded by debts raised on Regulus and guaranteed by 3i Infotech, to be serviced over a period of seven years, the company said. The company plans to close the deal within three months. “We expect revenue from Regulus to start accruing to us by the end of second quarter this year,” 3i Infotech managing director and CEO V Srinivasan told ET. Regulus had reported $148 million in revenue for the year-ended December, 2007. […]

Private equity finds welcome mat on Indian property

Private equity funds sense their time has come in the Indian property arena, with developers offering plum deals as banks tighten lending and a stock market slump shuts off public share offerings. Since India eased rules on inward investment in the construction industry in early 2005, foreign investors have earmarked an estimated $20 billion for the booming property market. But government figures show only about $2 billion has actually been spent in the last three years. Funds used to complain that Indian developers slapped inflated price tags on themselves, their land, and projects. But a fall in company valuations, and prospects of a drop in overheated land prices, has cheered private equity investors while making life tougher for developers. […]

Etisalat lines up $4 bn for India buy, eyes Spice

UAE’s Emirates Telecommunications Corp (Etisalat) on Tuesday said that it would spend up to $4 billion (Rs 16,000 crore) to acquire a licence or buyout an Indian telco, while also adding that Spice Telecom was amongst the possibilities. “Our aim is to buy into an operator that covers most of India, and Spice is one possibility,” Mohammed Omran, chairman of the Arab world’s second-biggest telecoms firm, told international media in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. “The market value for shares (in India) have gone down a little so it’s a good time for us to consider entry,” Mr Omran told Reuters. The report also adds that Etisalat, during this month, was in talks with several Indian companies including Spice, but had not finalised any deal so far. Spice apart, the UAE-based telecom major is also in talks to pick up stake in Videocon-owned Datacom and realty major Unitech, both of whom were awarded telecom licenses recently. […]

Babcock forms India team, eyes $2 b assets

Australia investment bank manager Babcock & Brown hopes to invest in $2 billion of Indian property and infrastructure assets within three years and has poached nine investment bankers from ABN AMRO for the task. Jaginder Singh Pasricha, executive director for business development in India, told Reuters the infrastructure specialists he pinched from the Dutch bank had started their fund on Monday. Pasricha has spent the last year formulating a strategy for spending up to 40 per cent of a $1 billion Asia infrastructure fund. This week he put together a new team in one fell swoop. […]

Berger acquires Polish Co for $38 mn

Berger Paints India Ltd on Tuesday said it has signed an agreement to acquire Poland-based Bolix S A (Bolix) for 38 million dollars. Berger Paints will acquire Bolix, a leading provider of external insulation finishing system, in an all-share deal from Advent International, a global private equity group. The acquisition will be carried out at an estimated net purchase price of around 38.6 million dollars, the company said. The buyout will be made through a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berger Paints India Ltd in Cyprus. […]

Essar acquires strategic stake in Obopay Inc

Essar Communications Holdings Limited (ECHL), the telecom subsidiary of Essar Global Limited, has acquired a strategic stake in Obopay Inc., the pioneering service provider for payments via mobile phones. Consequent to this, K B Rajendran, Senior Vice President – Business Development, Essar has been elected to the Obopay Board of Directors. Commenting on the investment K B Rajendran said, “We are excited with our investment in Obopay which gives us an opportunity to be involved in this promising business segment. Obopay has introduced significant mobile payment innovations in the U.S. and recently in India as well. We look forward to working with Obopay to build upon the integration of the mobile phone into the lives of consumers worldwide.” Obopay, Inc. recently announced closing of its fourth round of venture funding, raising $20 million, and the addition of two new board members K B Rajendran, Senior Vice President, Essar Global Limited and Robert G. Hottensen, Jr., Senior Vice President for Public Equity at Olayan America Corporation to their board of directors. […]

Warburg Pincus to invest $75mn in Unique

Global private equity biggie, Warburg Pincus, will invest $ 75 million (Rs 300 crore) in Jaipur-based Mannat Group company, Unique Affordable Homes, to build affordable housing projects in North and Western India. Warburg Pincus will provide an initial equity line of up to $ 75 million to the venture. Unique Builders has completed nine real estate projects comprising four residential and five commercial projects mostly in Rajasthan. With a large land bank in Jaipur and its surrounding areas, the group has imminent plans to launch mega projects in the residential, corporate/commercial and township sectors. […]

Red Fort to invest Rs 3,500 crore

Red Fort Capital, an international private equity fund, is planning to invest Rs 3,500 crore in the country's real estate sector during the next one year. It has also launched a domestic fund few weeks back through which it plans to raise Rs 1,000 crore. The proceeds would be deployed into non-foreign direct investment projects. The first closing of the 6-year domestic fund would be in May, 2008. From the Rs 3,500 crore raised through the international fund, the company has committed Rs 1,100 crore for several projects. It has allocated 50% amount towards residential projects and 10-15% each for logistics, commercial office space and smaller ITITES parks. […]