January 2011
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PE cos set their sights on wellness sector

“The wellness sector in India is attracting new players as well as private equity funding, and it is a natural progression considering the phenomenal growth across verticals in this space,” slimming and wellness chain VLCC Healthcare MD Sandeep Ahuja said. The Delhi-based company received investments from Indian as well as international investors and total private equity investments in the company currently are over $43 million. As per a report by FICCI-Ernst and Young in 2009, India's wellness market is expected to grow at about 30-35% year-on-year due to rising consumerism, globalisation and changing lifestyles. Rising disposable incomes, increasingly demanding and stressful work-place conditions and sedentary lifestyles are the growth drivers for the wellness industry. “The definition of wellness has changed from luxury to necessity as it is now a need for all ,” said Ahuja. Investors are sensing a big opportunity in the wellness sector where less than 5% of the market is being serviced by organised players. Investors can derive immense value from the sector which is catering to a far large target audience than just being a niche offering as was the case earlier,” Venture Intelligence MD Arun Natarajan said. […]

3i acquires minority stake in BVG India

3i, an international investor in private equity, infrastructure and debt management , and funds managed by 3i, have acquired a minority stake in BVG India Limited . Financial details were not disclosed in the press statement released here. BVG is one of India's largest facilities management services companies with a pan-India presence, offering a wide range of services. It was established in 1997 and has grown to over 18,000 employees. The company provides services such as mechanised housekeeping, landscaping and gardening, logistics and transportation, electrical and mechanical services, among others. BVG has over 250 clients in India including prestigious names in the public and private sector such as Rashtrapati Bhavan, Parliament House, Prime Minister's office and residence, Indian Railways, AIIMS, Safdurjung Hospital, Delhi High Court, Mantralaya, Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, TATA Motors , ITC, ABB , Volkswagen, Hyundai, Fiat, ONGC and Hindustan Unilever , among others. […]

Komli Media raises third round of funding of $15 million for upgrading current products and technology

Komli Media successfully completed its third round of funding, aimed at expanding the firm’s offering and upgrading its existing products and technology. The Mumbai based firm raised $15 million, about Rs.67.5 crore, led by Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) and existing investors, Nexus Venture Partners, Helion Venture Partners and Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ). Under the terms of the financing agreement, Niren Shah, Managing Director at NVP India, has joined the board of Komli Media. In its previous 2008 raising, Komli raised approximately $7 million in its first round of funding followed by second round of $6 million in 2010 from Nexus, Helion and DFJ. Komli Media owns an online ad network – Komli and an audience measurement tool – Vizisense.com. It represents more than 2000 websites including Babycenter in India, Bloomberg in Australia, social networking site Facebook and travel website Expedia Inc. In 2010, Komli Media expanded its presence in Asia Pacific and European regions by acquiring Australia-based PostClick and UK-based Indoor Media. The Company has 115 employees and reported revenues of Rs.8.61 crore with loss of Rs.6.81 crore for the year ending 31st March 2010. […]

Accel Partners set for $400 mn fund for India

PE fund spotted Facebook, Groupon early on This may well be the best fund news for Indian entrepreneurs looking at growth capital. Accel Partners, the marquee global venture capital and growth equity provider with $6 billion assets under management, is enroute to setting up a $400 million India-dedicated private equity fund. The Palo Alto, California-headquartered fund, best known for investments in Facebook and Groupon, with both of them commanding blockbuster valuations, is understood to have hit the road to set up the India fund. Investment banking players indicate that Accel is aggressively looking at this space even as it is looking to expand its venture capital business. The fund, during late 2009, hired Neeraj Bhardwaj from Apax Partners as MD of the growth capital business in India and presently has a three-member team manning this. Accel Partners did not respond to mails requesting for statement on this. Founded in 1983, Accel Partners has a long history of excellence and innovation in the global venture capital and growth equity business. Accel today invests globally using dedicated teams and market-specific strategies for local geographies, with offices in Palo Alto, California, London and Bangalore, as well as in China via the IDG-Accel Partnership. […]

Rexel to acquire 74% stake in Yantra Automation

Rexel SA, a France-based distributor of electrical parts and supplies, is planning to acquire a 74% stake in Yantra Automation Pvt., Ltd., an India-based distributor of industrial automation and control products. Under the terms of the transaction, Rexel will acquire the remaining 26% stake in Yantra Automation through put and call options in 2014 at a price to be determined on the basis of the Yantra Automation performance in 2012 and 2013. Brunswick Group LLP is acting as PR advisor to Rexel for the transaction. […]

Mahindra buys minority stake in East India Company

Mahindra Group has acquired a minority stake in the East India Company, the global luxury brand owned by Indian-origin entrepreneur Sanjiv Mehta who relaunched the company here in August 2010. Established in 1600, the East India Company (EIC) is one of the most recognised brands in the world. It once employed a third of the British workforce and was responsible for 50 per cent of global trade. Anand Mahindra, managing director of the Mahindra Group, said: “The East India Company was the world's first truly global brand spanning continents and centuries, and had a profound impact on the development of international trade. This immense vision and scope finds a parallel with Mahindra's own global aspirations to think beyond its size.” The company, however, did not divulge the value of the deal or other details. Mehta, 49, launched the EIC's first 21st century trade 'expansion' in the form of Fine Foods in Mayfair. He acquired the company in 2005 and has since invested $15 million. […]

Baring may invest 350cr in Bangalore realty co

Baring Private Equity Partners India (BPEP), along with some of its international investors, is likely to invest about $75 million, or approximately Rs 350 crore, in the Bangalore-based Century Real Estate. Baring's individual commitment to the deal is around $53 million, while overseas investors who are backing the fund may bring in a little over $20 million in additional investment. Industry sources say that Baring has initiated the diligence process. As the realty firm is still working out the commercial terms, sources say the deal could be closed in February. When contacted, Century Real Estate managing director Ravindra Pai did not confirm or deny the development. The Baring-led investors may pick up around 26% stake in the holding company, which is one of the largest land aggregators with an estimated 3,000 acres of land bank in south India. The investment may be deployed as seed capital to develop multiple townships around Bangalore. E&Y and KPMG are assisting with the due diligence. […]

New Silk Route may buy stake in ETA Engineering

Dubai-based $6-billion conglomerate Emirates Trading Agency (ETA) will be divesting up to 25% stake in its Indian engineering services firm ETA Engineering to New Silk Route (NSR). The Rajat Gupta-spearheaded private equity may invest Rs 300 crore in ETA Engineering, said sources privy to the development. ETA Engineering, based in Chennai, provides electromechanical services to hotels, hospitals, technology parks and other commercial buildings. A top official at ETA group said the company was in talks with the PE funds to raise capital for unlocking the huge growth potential in India. The investor will subscribe mostly to fresh shares apart from buying a small part of the promoting holding in a secondary transaction, he added. Veda Corporate Finance is adviser to the transaction, sources added. NSR is $1.4-billion private equity fund focused on Asian markets, especially India. The recovery in private equity investments has been led by the buoyancy in the core infrastructure and allied services, and this potential transaction reflects the continued investor interest in solution providers to the infra play. […]

Ascent Capital exits from Koutons Retail at a loss

Three months after a spate of lawsuits were filed in the Delhi high court by suppliers to recover their dues from Koutons Retail India Ltd, Ascent Capital, one of the principal investors in the cloth seller, has exited the firm at a loss and considers the investment a “write-off”, said two executives at the private equity (PE) firm briefed on the development. “We have completely exited Koutons. It’s at a loss…it’s as good as a write-off. We haven’t made any money in it,” one of them, a top executive at Ascent Capital, said on condition of anonymity. He declined to give more details. Ascent Capital, formerly known as UTI Ventures, invested about Rs.54.6 crore in Koutons through two rounds in 2006, a year ahead of the company going public. The PE firm held an 8.3% stake. In December, VC Circle reported that Ascent Capital part-exited from its investment by selling 2.8% stake at a 58% loss. It sold the balance stake in the market late December. […]

Kuwait govt's arm invests in Renuka Ramnath's PE fund

Multiples Alternate Asset Management, a private equity (PE) fund founded by Renuka Ramnath, the former CEO of ICICI Venture, has received Rs 325 crore ($70 million) for its offshore fund from the Public Institution for Social Security (PIFSS) — a pension fund run by the Government of Kuwait. With this fund, Multiples has achieved a corpus of more than $425 million. It is targeting a size of $450 million. In March, the government-run Canada Pension Plan Investment Board made an anchor investment of $100 million into the fund. In July, CDC Group, a UK-based development finance institution, committed $30 million. Its first sector-agnostic fund will focus on sectors like financial services, healthcare, infrastructure and retail, with a typical deal size of $20-30 million. Though the size of PIFSS is not known, it is one of the largest pension funds in West Asia. […]