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IVCF launches three new funds

In keeping with its core business of venture capital funding, IFCI Venture Capital Funds Limited (IVCF), a subsidiary of IFCI on Monday announced the launch of three new funds aimed at the emerging sectors of the economy. The funds being launched are India Automotive Component Manufacturers Private Equity Fund with a target corpus of Euro 60 million or Rs 396 crores. It will be dedicated to investments mainly in Indian automotive component companies and other related sectors. The next one is the India Enterprise Development Fund (IEDF), with a target corpus of Rs 250 crores to invest in knowledge based projects in key sectors of the Indian economy with outstanding growth prospects. […]

AT&T may buy Maxis' 74 pct in India's Aircel

Top U.S. phone company AT&T Inc is close to buying Malaysia's Maxis Communications' 74 percent stake in Indian mobile operator Aircel, the Economic Times said on Monday, citing unnamed sources. AT&T, which is seeking to re-enter the world's fastest-growing cellular market, has valued Aircel at $5-$6 billion, the newspaper said. “At the upper end, the ticket price includes a control premium of around 30 percent, which AT&T is expected to pay for taking management control,” it said. The paper said Maxis CEO Sandip Das declined comment. Maxis, Malaysia's top mobile services firm, holds 74 percent in Aircel, the maximum permissible by Indian law, with the remainder held by India's Apollo Hospitals Enterprises . […]

Canaan to invest more in India

Canaan Partners, the 20-year-old global venture capital (VC) fund with $3 billion under management, will channel a bigger share of money from its latest global fund towards investments in the country. The investments would be mainly directed towards technology ventures, Canaan Partners India MD Alok Mittal said. The VC firm recently raised a $650-million global fund and about a quarter of it will be dedicated for investments in India and Israel. It is estimated that around $150 million will be invested in India over the next three years. Around 5-10% of its previous $450 million was dedicated to India and Israel. Canaan has invested in five companies in India—e4e, Bharatmatrimony, Cellcast, iYogi and TechTribe—since foraying into the country in 2000. […]

Lehman, Sachs, ICICI to pick 20% in OOH ad co

Private equity is ramping up presence in India’s out-of-home (OOH) advertising play. ICICI Ventures, Lehman and Goldman Sachs have lined up to pick up around 15-20% stake in Bangalore-based outdoor advertising firm Serve & Volley (S&V) for Rs 250 crore. Sources said Serve & Volley, with key assets like Delhi Metro, Kolkata Metro and Bangalore Municipal Corporation, plans to dilute 15-20% to raise Rs 300 crore. The 11-year-old company vies with sector leaders like Clear Channel, Laqshya and JCDecaux for a pie in the Rs 1,800-crore business, growing robustly at 10-15% in recent times. When contacted, S&V’s COO J Vishwanath declined to comment. Sources said advanced discussions were on with at least three funds for raising Rs 300 crore. […]

PE investments take a beating

With a bearish phase prevailing over stock markets, valuations of private equity (PE) investments have taken a beating. Certain PEs which had overestimated companies to enter at high values have seen a decline in valuations due to volatile capital market conditions. A compilation of how PE investments of 2007 compare with current mark-to-market (MTM) values shows that about 58% of the PIPE (private investments in public enterprises) deals of 2007 are in the negative territory. According to the research undertaken by SMC Investment Solutions & Services (May 2008), the only ray of hope is that overall till-date-returns on PIPE deals of 2007 (on volume basis) are still in the positive, although at a margal 8.3%, despite rough market conditions of 2008. […]

PE firms review plans after Ranbaxy deal

In the wake of the recent Ranbaxy-Daiichi deal that took many by surprise, private equity (PE) firms are treading a more cautious path in their approach towards investments in the fast-growing Indian drug companies. The way the leading Indian drug firm, Ranbaxy Laboratories, was acquired by Japan's Daiichi Sankyo, has made them realise the vulnerable nature of the domestic pharmaceutical industry and the need for more preconditions to prevent the promoter from selling off his company soon after the investments are made. Though PE interest in the pharmaceutical sector is rather small compared to other sectors, about 20 PE firms had made small investments in the healthcare sector in 2007. The significant ones included Chryscapital's $24-million investment in Mankind Pharma, Avenue Capital putting in $17.91 million in Morepen Laboratories, and Rideback Capital investing about $5 million in Granules India. The Ranbaxy-Daiichi deal is expected to make PE firms review their positions on investments in acquisition-prone industries like pharmaceuticals. “PE companies invest in a company if they feel that its promoter can deliver goods. If the promoter changes, then its a different ball game. […]

PE Investment in realty seen at over $13 b

Private Equity investment in the real estate sector may go up as much as 15-20 per cent in the current fiscal to over $13 billion in the wake of acute crisis of funds plaguing the growth of the industry. “Private Equity players started investing in India's real estate space since 2005. The sector had received $2 billion private equity investment in 2005 which went up to $4.5 billion the next year and to a whopping $11 billion in 2007. This year, it should go up by 15-20 per cent,” financial services firm Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj's Chairman and Country Head Anuj Puri told PTI. There are mainly three preferred routes for developers to ensure funds for their projects – raising funds from capital markets, pre-sales funds from prospective buyers and loans and advances from banks and other financial institutions. […]

Digicable acquires 51% in CableComm

Digicable Network (India) has acquired a 51 per cent stake in Kolkata-based CableComm as part of its strategy to expand in the eastern region of India. As part of the deal, Digicable will use CableComm to expand in other neighbouring parts. The multi-system operator (MSO) has already entered into Jharkhand. “Digicable has taken a 51 per cent stake. As per the deal, Digicable will have to expand in the eastern region only through us,” CableComm chairman Dileep Singh Mehta tells while declining to elaborate on the commercial terms of the deal. CableComm plans to expand to Orissa and later to the north eastern region, adds Mehta. Local MSO Ortel dominates several cities in Orissa including Bhubaneswar. […]

Subhiksha to acquire Chennai based company

In a move to further accelerate its growth plans, Subhiksha, a major food and grocery discount retailer, is acquiring a majority stake in Chennai based listed company, Blue Green Constructions and Investments Limited (BGCIL). The respective Boards of Subhiksha and BGCIL are also meeting on Monday (June 30) to consider a merger of the two companies. The merged entity will be called Subhiksha Limited and is expected to list its shares on National Stock Exchange/Bombay Stock Exchange (NSE/BSE) apart from MSE where the shares are currently listed. R Subramanian, the promoter of Subhiksha said, “this transaction will ensure that Subhiksha has access to capital and will continue to be on the fast track of growth. It will also enhance value for our stakeholders and help us achieve our objective of becoming a US$ five billion company.” […]

Unitech to raise $1 bln from PE funds

Unitech Ltd , India's second-largest listed real estate firm, will raise about $1 billion from private-equity funds in the next one year for its projects, its managing director said on Friday. Sanjay Chandra told reporters Unitech would raise $350 million in the next 3-4 months for a hotel project and $700-800 million for residential and commercial projects in Mumbai in the next one year.(Reuters) […]