April 2011
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Apollo, ICICI Venture to launch $750-mn fund

The special situation fund will invest in Indian distressed assets Apollo Global Management, the global leader in the alternative asset management business, will partner ICICI Venture, one of India’s largest private equity firms, to launch a special situation fund. An agreement for the $750-million fund will be signed soon, persons close to the development said. In India, there is a huge opportunity for investments in distressed assets due to the mounting number of such large loans in the Indian banking sector. A number of financial institutions have already established their presence with their distressed asset funds in the past. The new venture, exploring opportunities in the areas of special situations and distressed assets in India, will be headed by Kalpesh Kikani, senior general manager of ICICI Bank. […]

PEP invests Rs 260 crore in UFO Moviez

Global media and entertainment- focused private equity fund, Providence Equity Partners (PEP) has invested Rs 260 crore to become the largest shareholder in digital cinema company UFO Moviez. UFO is the world’s largest satellite-based digital cinema service with close to 2,500 installations across India and will be using the infusion to fund roll-out of 3D systems in more than 1,000 screens in the country, a release issued said. “Providence Equity Partners will take a significant minority equity stake in UFO and will be the largest shareholder in the company,” the release said, adding that promoters Valuable Group and Apollo Tyres’ division Apollo International and PE firm 3i group will continue to remain “significant shareholders”. […]

PE on the infrastructure highway

Private equity (PE) funds are quick to seize attractive investment opportunities, and few deals in recent years have captured their imagination-and capital-more than infrastructure projects in India. Over the past five years, PE funds have invested approximately $13 billion-around one-fourth of their total capital flows to the country-into infrastructure. Annual PE investment in the sector has grown fourfold, from about $1 billion in 2006 to $4 billion in 2010. Infrastructure activity looks set to accelerate. Optimism about investment in the sector was a major highlight in a survey of PE industry insiders, which Bain conducted with the Indian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association. Nearly all respondents forecast continued double-digit growth over the next six to 12 months, with around half saying they expected venture capital and PE deal-making in the sector to grow by 25-50%. […]

Matrix Partners India raises $ 300 mn through second fund

Private equity firm Matrix Partners India today said it has raised $ 300 million (Rs 1,328 crore) through its second fund. “It has closed a USD 300 million second fund,” Matrix Partners India said in a statement. The fund will continue to target early and growth stage investments of up to USD 30 million each in companies in the business of internet, mobile, education, financial services, healthcare and infrastructure services firms. With the closing of this fund the firm has USD 600 million under management across two funds. The firm's first fund has investments in Muthoot Finance, which recently closed its initial share sale, and TreeHouse Education that has recently filed its papers for an initial public offering. […]

Shapoorji floats $500m PE fund

Shapoorji Pallonji Group has floated a $500 million private equity fund, mainly focused on real estate, marking its return to the financial services industry. One of the country's richest and low-profile business conglomerates will be joining the growing list of Indian corporates such as Tata, Aditya Birla and Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) in the private equity play with its Mauritius registered fund, STREF. Shapoorji Pallonji Investment Managers Ltd will be managing this fund, which will shortly announce the first close of $250 million and start investing thereafter, said a senior official at SP Centre, the group's South Mumbai headquarters. The fund manager has narrowed down on a few initial investments, which could include buying minority interest in a pharmaceutical and healthcare special economic zone down South […]

PE firms sitting on $20 bn meant for India investment

Private equity firms are sitting on at least $20 billion of uninvested capital or dry capital that can be deployed in India as deal activity picks up and the economic recovery gains pace across the country. “The capital overhang will lead to immense competition in the market wherein chase for high quality deals will intensify,” said Sri Rajan, managing director and head of the private equity practice in India at Bain & Company , a global management consulting firm that released the India PE Report 2011 on Tuesday. “Private equity firms who are sitting on dry capital will invest it in other parts of Asia in case if they don't do it in India,” said Rajan adding that the problem of capital overhang exists even in mature markets such as the US. The amount of dry capital currently available in the industry is enough to fund all 2010 deal activity twice over. […]

Matrix Partners invests Rs 60 crore in Chetas

Private equity firm Matrix Partners India today said it has invested Rs 60 crore in Chetas Control Systems, a solution provider to water utilities. “It has invested Rs 60 crore as the sole investor in the first institutional round of funding of Chetas Control Systems,” Matrix Partners said in a statement. Chetas is a leading provider of turnkey water metering solutions to water utilities in the country. It has installed about 4 lakh domestic and bulk water meters in the country, it said. […]

Polaris Software Acquires Stake in U.S. Company

Chennai-based financial technology company Polaris Software Lab Ltd. has entered the cloud computing space by acquiring an 85.3% stake in IdenTrust Inc., a U.S.-based services provider offering digital authentication services to banks, for an undisclosed sum. IdenTrust was started in 1999 with 20 banks including Citigroup, Bank of America, Chase, Barclays, HSBC, and Deutsche as shareholders. It will now have Zions Bancorporation, a U.S. bank, as a minority shareholder. “With increasing dependency on the internet, security solutions that incorporate identity management are a key element in any cloud offering,” said Polaris Chairman and Chief Executive Arun Jain in a statement to the press. The company said this is a step toward its goal of becoming a one-stop shop for all financial technology needs. […]

Jyothy Labs in talks to buy 51 pc of Henkel India for $203 mn

Indian fabric whitener and detergent maker Jyothy Laboratories Ltd is in advanced talks to buy Henkel AG's 51 per cent stake in its Indian arm Henkel India for 9 billion rupees ($202.8 million), three sources with direct knowledge of the development told Reuters. On March 16, Jyothy picked up a 14.9 per cent stake in Henkel India from Tamilnadu Petroproducts for 607.3 million rupees. While Germany-based Henkel AG is looking to sell its Indian soap brand Margo separately in hopes of attracting a higher value, the Jyothy bid is for 51 per cent of the entire business, including Margo, the sources said. HSBC represents Henkel in the transaction, while Indian boutique investment bank Mape Advisory Group represents Jyothy Laboratories. […]

StanChart's acquisition of TMB shares under scanner

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is looking at the way in which Standard Chartered Plc acquired a 4.64% stake in Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Ltd (TMB) even as an investigating agency is independently looking at whether the UK bank owns more than the permitted 5% stake in the Indian lender. The UK bank may have done this through a series of transactions involving an escrow account managed by its Mauritius arm, of which Standard Chartered India is a sub-agent, according to an RBI order and an official at the same investigating agency. Under India's banking laws, no entity can own more than 5% in an Indian bank without RBI's approval. The situation is complicated by one of the investors supposedly involved in these transactions, Katra Holdings Ltd, insisting that it hasn't given up its 3.64% stake in TMB. […]