October 2009
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International venture capital investment recovers after second quarter slump

International venture capital investment has bounced back after a second quarter slump but remains significantly below 2008 levels, according to a report by Dow Jones VentureSource. Venture capitalists invested $1.8bn in 297 deals across Europe, Canada, Israel, China and India in the third quarter of 2009, up from $1.5bn in the second quarter, and $100m down from the first quarter of the year. Europe was the main non-US recipient for venture investment, garnering $998m, up 23 per cent from Dow Jones' record lows of the previous quarter. The total is still a 48 per cent drop on the $1.9bn invested during the same period last year. […]

PNB to buy majority stake in Kazakh's Dana Bank

Punjab National Bank, India's second-largest public sector lender, has received approval from its board of directors to acquire a majority stake of about 63 per cent in Kazakhstan-based Dana Bank. The bank stated in a communiqué that this acquisition is going to be the bank's first international acquisition and will entail an investment of $24 million (Rs115 crore). The bank has set up a representative office in the Kazakh city of Almaty. ''The board on Thursday approved acquisition of 63.6 per cent stake in Kazakhstan-based Dana Bank,'' PNB's newly-appointed chairman and managing director K R Kamath told reporters after announcing the second-quarter numbers. The joint venture would have five branches, he said. […]

Changed Indian landscape forces foreign PE firms to exit

Private equity (PE) firms and hedge funds that had flocked to India have found a way to deal with the dearth of ideal investment opportunities: exit in droves. Four overseas private equity firms and 25-30 hedge and sovereign funds have shuttered India operations in the past year, and more may be on their way out, experts said. While the decrease in the number of PE investments is a fallout of the global downturn, experts said it has changed India’s private equity landscape. Firms looking to raise funds in India have found the going particularly tough. […]

Singapore’s Temasek, GIC trim stakes in India’s ICICI

Temasek Holdings and the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) have both pared their stakes in ICICI, India’s second-largest lender. Bombay Stock Exchange filings stated that Temasek trimmed its interest in ICICI to 5.76 per cent as of Sept 30 from 7.6 per cent at the end of June. GIC cut its stake to 1.53 per cent at the end of last month from 1.66 per cent at the end of June. Collectively, their stakes have been cut from 9.91 per cent in the March quarter to 7.29 per cent as of Sept 30. Temasek has also been cutting its holdings in other financial firms. It recently sold its entire stakes in Bank Internasional Indonesia, Bank of America, Barclays and China Minsheng Bank. […]

Time Warner may buy stake in NDTV Imagine

Turner Broadcasting, a company owned by Time Warner, might buy a majority stake in general entertainment channel (GEC) NDTV Imagine. According to reports in the media, the Turner Broadcasting-NDTV Imagine negotiations have reached a conclusion, and Turner, which also owns GEC Real, could buy as high a stake as 90 per cent in NDTV Imagine. […]

Henderson Equity Partners invests $17m in Indian luxury apparel maker

Henderson Equity Partners, the private equity operation of asset management firm Henderson Global Investors, has invested $17m in Genesis Colors, an Indian fashion house. Established in 2001, Genesis designs, manufactures and sells luxury apparel under the Satya Paul brand. The company also has distribution rights in India for several international luxury brands, including Canali, Kenzo, Aigner, Paul Smith, Jimmy Choo, Just Cavalli and Bottega Veneta. […]

Interest in healthcare mounts among PE, VC players

Private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) investment in hospitals may surpass that in clinical research and drug manufacturing sectors, as hospitals currently offer more assured returns with lesser risks, is the feeling of informed observers. The investors’ interest is not confined to corporate hospitals in large cities. They are also acquiring controlling stakes in small hospitals across the country. Parvez Ahmed, CEO of the Delhi-based Max Healthcare hospital chain, says there has been tremendous increase in PE interest in healthcare investments recently. “This has become very visible in the last five to six months. They have begun to understand the potential in seeing healthcare as a long-term investment.” […]

PE investments set to flood power sector

India’s power sector will be a key destination for private equity (PE) players to park their money, with close to $1.64 billion worth of infrastructure funds, mainly in power, awaiting their launch. According to industry experts, once the liquidity situation improves globally, the sector will see good investment momentum. This is despite the fact that PE investment in the power generation sector dropped by around 80 per cent between April and September 2009, to $157 million (around Rs 770 crore) from $902 million (Rs 4,419 crore) a year earlier. The number of deals also dropped to six from 17. […]

Petronet to buy 10% in Dahej project

Petronet LNG is all set to pick up a 10 per cent equity stake in ONGC Petro Additions Ltd (Opal). The ONGC-promoted Opal is setting up a Rs 12,440-crore petrochemical complex in a special economic zone (SEZ) at Dahej. The deal size is estimated to be about Rs 400 crore, with the project having a debt-equity ratio of 2.55:1, according to sources. Petronet LNG MD & CEO P Dasgupta said: “We have got approval from the board to pick up a 10 per cent stake in Opal.” ONGC holds a controlling stake of 26 per cent in Opal, Gas Authority of India Ltd holds 19 per cent and Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation has a 5 per cent equity stake. OPAL is aiming to hit the capital markets in 2011 by offering 20 per cent equity. […]

Murthy to be venture capitalist

One of India's most successful entrepreneurs is turning into a venture capitalist (VC). Infosys Technologies' co-founder and chief mentor N R Narayana Murthy, on Thursday, sold shares worth Rs 180 crore to start a venture capital firm that would fund start-ups mainly in India. The idea is to encourage young entrepreneurs with brilliant ideas. The VC will invest in start-ups operating in the areas of basic healthcare, education and nutrition. In a reversal of roles, in deciding to become a VC, Murthy is following in the footsteps of his daughter Akshata who was until recently a VC based out of Bay Area in Silicon Valley operating in the clean tech space. Until her marriage to Rishi Sunak in August, she was a senior associate at Siderian Ventures. […]