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Norwest Venture to invest Rs.200 mn in IT firm

Norwest Venture Partners (NVP), promoted by angel investor Promod Haque, will invest Rs.200 million (Rs.20 crore) in infrastructure management services firm Appnomic Systems, it was announced here Wednesday.The venture fund will be invested to expand into the US market and build innovative product and service offerings, the Bangalore-based Appnomic said in a statement. “The fresh investment will also enable us to strengthen our presence in India, the Middle East and Africa markets,” Appnomic chief executive D. Padmanabhan said. With the first institutional funding in the IT services firm, NVP managing partner Haque will join the Appnomic board. […]

Fortis picks up 59% in Mauritius hospital

Making its first international foray, Fortis Healthcare is investing $3.5 million for picking up a 58% stake in a hospital in Mauritius.Fortis has tied up with a diversified industrial group based in Mauritius, CIEL to acquire a controlling stake in Clinique Darne, now rechristened Fortis Clinique Darne. “Our total investment is $7 million which will be shared jointly between the partners,” Fortis Healthcare CEO and MD Shivinder Mohan Singh told TOI, adding “going international is not a focus for the company and this is a one-off growth opportunity which the group spotted and has invested in”. The 120-bed hospital is an interesting opportunity, as it would enable Fortis to leverage medical value travel by creating a gateway to the group's network in India, and develop it as a hub for medical tourism in Mauritius, he said. […]

Bhushan Steel acquires 9.5% stake in Orissa Sponge Iron & Steel

Delhi-based Bhushan Steel has acquired 9.5% stake of cash strapped real estate firm Unitech promoter, Chandra family, in Bhubaneswar-headquartered Orissa Sponge Iron & Steel for about Rs 23 crore, confirmed a top executive of Bhushan Steel. Bhushan Steel already owns 6% in Orissa Sponge. Prior to the acquisition, Chandras share in Orissa Sponge stood at 12.11%. The acquisition, which has increased Bhushan Steel's stake in Orissa Sponge to 15.5%, fetched the Chandras Rs 118 per share. Orissa Sponge's scrip moved up 5% to Rs 111.95 on the BSE on Thursday. The speculation around Chandra's stake sale in Orissa Sponge has been in the market for the past two months, as financial situation at Unitech worsened. Since sales in the real estate sector have plummeted and private equity is not flowing into the sector, companies are finding it difficult to raise funds to execute their expansion plans, said a person in knowledge of the development. […]

Big-ticket PE deals unlikely this year

Investment by private equity (PE) firms has declined by 22.9 per cent in calendar year 2008 as most international funds were wary of investing in equity markets on depleting valuations of listed stocks, which has led to fewer public offers, thereby denying an exit route. PE investors put $10.79 billion in 399 deals during 2008 calendar — a decline of $3.2 billion compared to $14 billion invested across 439 deals in 2007. According to Arun Natarajan, Managing Director and CEO of Venture Intelligence, the decline in PE investment is primarily because of the sharp decline in equity prices. PE firms have lost heavily on private investments in public equity (PIPE) deals in 2008 — a value erosion of $0.89 billion (around Rs 4,400 crore) or 53.3 per cent out of $1.67 billion invested in 31 deals. The loss from the 65 PIPE deals of 2007 has been 40 per cent or $2.04 billion out of the deal size of $5.16 billion. […]

Diageo set to pick up 15% in United Spirits

Liquor baron Vijay Mallya's UB Group is in final stages of talks for selling up to 14.9 per cent stake in group company United Spirits (USL) to Diageo, the global drinks leader. Mallya and his senior team comprising UB Group CFO Ravi Nedungadi, USL President and Managing Director Vijay Rekhi and USL CFO P A Murali will be meeting Diageo counterparts tomorrow in New York for the stake sale. “The deal is inching towards finalisation,” a source said, but the official spokesperson declined to comment. “Diageo can confirm that it is reviewing a possible collaboration with United Spirits. However, there is no certainty at this stage that these discussions will result in a transaction,” a Diageo spokesperson said. […]

IBN18 to acquire 43.4 pct in Viacom18 for $62.5 mln

IBN18 Broadcast Ltd said on Wednesday its board has approved the acquisition of a 43.4 percent stake in Vaicom18 Media Pvt Ltd from a unit of Television Eighteen India Ltd for $62.5 million. With this acquisition, IBN will own 50 percent in Viacom18, it said in a statement to NSE. (Reuters) […]

BIC buys 40 pct of India's Cello pens

BIC SA, the eponymous French maker of pens and lighters, said on Thursday it was buying a 40 percent stake in India's Cello Pens for 124 million euros ($160 million), giving it a foothold in the growth market. BIC could raise its stake to 55 percent in 2013, it added in a statement. Cello Pens had 2007/08 sales of 64.5 million euros and a 30 percent operating margin. BIC said the deal would boost earnings per share from 2009. Cello was founded in 1995.(Reuters) […]

PE flows to realty mart may start again

Private equity (PE) funds may revive their interest in the real estate sector this year, after a lull of six to nine months, as valuations of properties have dropped by a third, making them attractive for investors, say realty funds and investment advisors to these funds. Most of the funds have not signed any deals in the past few months as realty prices fell sharply and economic slowdown deepened across the world, which slowed the flow of funds significantly. “The amount of money available today is one-tenth of what it used to be. But India-specific funds, which have already raised money, will deploy more in the current quarter than they have earmarked in the last quarter,” said Subhash Bedi, partner of Red Fort Capital, a India-focussed realty fund that has invested nearly Rs 1,500 crore in the property market so far. […]

PE deals worth over $10 bn in 2008: Thornton

Fall in the capital market mirrored itself in the corporate India's private equity transactions, which registered a 23 per cent decline during the year 2008 at $10.59 billion, thanks to the effects of the recent economic downturn. There were 312 deals in 2008 with a total announced value of $10.59 billion compared with 405 deals with an announced value of $19.03 billion in the year 2007, according to Grant Thornton's latest annual issue. Though there has been a decline in PE deal s but still India Inc braved the downtrend and managed to attract decent number of such deals. The report further said that the average PE deal value fluctuated from $46.99 million in 2007 to $33.93 million during 2008. There were 28 deals of over $100 million in 2008, while in the year 2007 there were as many as 53 such deals. […]

Agriculture offers spring of hope for PE firms

Private equity players are having a tough time with a slow down in the services and manufacturing sectors, which promised good returns even back. But some investors seem to have found an answer closer to the ground- in agricultural fields.Last year, Indian agro-based companies attracted a host of private equity players, players, who see potential in this space on the back of strong demand and the sector's insulation from the credit-induced economic crisis in the West. The prominent deals in 2008 include the $50 million investment by Blackstone in Hyderabad-based Nuziveedu seeds, which is one of the largest hybrid seeds companies in India. Another prominent example was Morgan Stanley's investment in castor oil maker Biotor Industries, through its Asia fund. More recently, Chennai-based Sree Ramcides, a 36-year old, family-run agro solutions company attracted $5 million from ePlanet Ventures last month. […]