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BK Modi in talks to acquire Hollywood studio

US-based billionaire B K Modi is in advanced stages of negotiations with Los Angeles-based Culver Studios, a well-known independent studio in Hollywood, to buy out a majority stake. The deal is expected to be struck at $150 million (about Rs 600 crore). If the deal goes through, it will mark the entry of Indian companies in Hollywood studios. After selling off Spice Communications to Idea Cellular, B K Modi has been looking at foraying into the entertainment space. His first concrete foray in this direction came with a minority stake in broadcasting company Sony Entertainment Television in India. Mody is also foraying into the audio business and plans to make movies. “Modi is in the final stages of talks for buying Culver Studios for $150 million,” said a source close to the development. […]

Rolta to acquire US firm for $40-50 mln

IT and engineering services firm Rolta India Ltd is close to acquiring a Chicago-based firm at an estimated deal size of $40-50 million, a newspaper report said on Tuesday. The acquisition could be in the area of business intelligence software, the Economic Times report said citing sources. An announcement on this was likely to be made in the next few days, it said. “We are exploring a number of opportunities. But there is nothing to announce,” Rolta's Chairman and Managing Director K.K. Singh told the paper. For the quarter to June, Rolta's net profit rose 4.1 percent to 508.3 million rupees, while sales rose 58 percent to 3.2 billion rupees. (Reuters) […]

iYogi Secures $9.5M Funding Led by SAP Ventures

Personal Offshoring, which is driving the next wave of India's outsourcing success story, got a huge boost today when iYogi – a remote technical support provider from India – raised $ 9.5 million in Series B financing from SAP Ventures, a division of SAP AG, Canaan Partners and SVB India Capital Partners, a venture fund affiliate of Silicon Valley Bank. iYogi delivers technical support services directly to consumers and small businesses and is the first, global, technical support brand based out of India. The company offers its customers an unlimited, annual service subscription for $119.99 per desktop that includes support for a wide range of technologies, including PC hardware Microsoft Windows operating system operating systems, software applications, peripherals and multifunctional devices. […]

Accel Partners and Erasmic Venture Fund Team Up, Launch Accel India Venture Fund

Accel Partners, a leading venture capital firm operating in Silicon Valley, Europe, Israel and China, today announced the formation of Accel India Venture Fund. The latest element in Accel’s global strategy, Accel India Venture will focus on early-stage venture investing, delivering active, hands-on strategic and operational guidance in partnership with India’s most promising entrepreneurs. Accel India Venture Fund will be managed by four experienced partners who currently are the Partners of Erasmic Venture Fund (EVF). EVF is one of the leading seed and early-stage investment groups in India, with a portfolio including Mu Sigma, Inbiopro, HolidayIQ, Kaati Zone, Myntra, Sconce, Virident and many other exciting new ventures. Subrata Mitra, Prashanth Prakash, Mahendran Balachandran and Gagan Kumar bring deep entrepreneurial and operational expertise as well as a strong track record of helping entrepreneurs to develop successful new businesses in India. All four individuals will be joining Accel as the Partners of Accel India Venture Fund.Accel India Venture Fund will seek to work with India’s best entrepreneurs from the very earliest stages of the new venture creation process. […]

PE fund picks 40% in Amrapali SPV

Private equity fund SUN-Apollo Ventures has invested Rs 300 crore for 35-40% equity in an SPV of Noida-based realty firm Amrapali group. SUN-Apollo is a joint venture between Delhi-based Khemka family’s SUN group and US-based private equity fund Apollo Real Estate Advisors. Apollo’s development and investment portfolio is spread across US, UK, Russia and other European countries, besides India. SUN Group, which has interests in oil & gas, mining, real estate, infrastructure, food & beverage and technology, has been active in India, Russia and other emerging markets. “The SPV will develop a 200-acre township in Jaipur and a 15-acre high-end housing project in Noida. Both projects are likely to be completed in two-and-a-half years,” Amrapali group chairman Anil Sharma said. The Jaipur township will have housing, retail, commercial and IT space. Amrapali group, which has developed six urban residential colonies in the national capital region, is at present executing real estate projects worth Rs 8,000 crore in several cities. […]

Bear market turns PE attractive, 150 deals likely in Q3

The bear market has led to resurgence in private equity deals. “More than 150 deals are expected in the third quarter of 2008. Investors from Mauritius, Europe and Middle East are poised to strike deals with Indian companies with good valuations,” said YEN Management Consultant Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Sunil Shirole, who recently visited 10 countries meeting 50 private equity investors. Investors still believe in the strong fundamentals of Indian economy and they are coming to India with a 5-7 year time horizon, Shirole said. Axis is currently evaluating investments in healthcare, renewable energy, hospitality, and logistics.Bangalore-based Lightspeed is also looking at investments in infrastructure-derived industries, media & entertainment, and financial services. YEN Consultant is also mediating 2-3 deals between Middle East and Indian companies in the education and health care sectors. […]

Federal Bank picks up 5% in Catholic Syrian Bank

A Choppy market and hardening interest rates may have taken the sheen off bank stocks. But that hasn’t put off deal makers. Federal Bank, a Kerala-based private sector bank, has bought 5% shares of Catholic Syrian Bank (CSB) and is in the process of winning the support of other CSB shareholders to go for a full-fledged takeover. Federal Bank is said to have acquired these shares at Rs 250-300 per share. CSB is a small, unlisted private bank, also based in Kerala. The Federal Bank management has entered into an understanding with Chawlas — the NRI family which is the single largest shareholder group in CSB. Chances are that Federal Bank may buy out the Chawlas at a later stage, said a senior bank official. The bank has already spelt out its plans to Reserve Bank of India and on Saturday afternoon general managers of Federal Bank were briefed on the development by the management in a closed door meeting. […]

Times of India group eyes UK's Trinity Mirror

The largest Indian newpaper publishing house Bennett, Coleman & Company Ltd (BCCL), which owne the Times of India group of newspapers, is planning to acquire UK-based newspaper group Trinity Mirror, newspaper reports quoting market sources said. BCCL is in talks with some large shareholders of Trinity Mirror to pick up their stakes before launching a formal offer, the reports said. Trinity Mirror Plc, one of the UK's largest newspaper groups, publishes papers like the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror and has a portfolio of more than 350 media brands, including five national newspapers, over 150 regional newspapers and 200-plus websites. The group employs over 9,000 people in more than 150 centres across the UK, including nine major printing sites, its website said. […]

JM to sell stake to Valiant Capital , Blue Ridge and Eton Park

JM Financial Ltd said on Friday it will sell a 12 percent stake in its fund unit, JM Financial Asset Management, to raise 1.12 billion rupees to fund expansion. “We want to increase our distribution muscle across India and that requires capital,” Vishal Kampani, director of the fund house, told Reuters in an e-mail. “We want to maintain a 25-30 percent plus growth in the AUM over the medium term,” he said, adding he was not looking at raising more capital for at least two years as the business plan was funded. The fund house has seen average assets surge more than 200 percent to 116.55 billion rupees in the last one year, far higher than the 38.1 percent growth of the industry, according to data from the Association of Mutual Funds in India. […]

BCCL picks up stake in Naaptol Online

Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd (BCCL) has picked up a stake in Naaptol Online Shopping Pvt Ltd, owner of the portal , India's new entrant in the comparison based shopping portal. This web portal has brought interactivity and innovation to make purchases more exciting. Speaking about the tie-up with BCCL, Manu Agrawal, CEO Naaptol Online Shopping Pvt Ltd, said, “Our association with the media conglomerate BCCL is a strong step forward in creating the best foothold. With this association, we look forward to carve a space for among the best portals for online shopping.” Listed on the site are a reputed network of sellers and a trusted circle of consumers. With over 20,000 clicks each day, constantly endeavours to cater to the pan India shopping audience. […]