August 2011
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Firepro eyes $200 mn fund raise

Global buyout funds, including Apax Partners and few more major strategic global players are looking at investing around $200 million to wrest control of Bangalore-based FirePro Systems. FirePro Systems, with a topline of Rs 700 crore is among the established players offering integrated solutions for fire protection, security and building management systems. According to investment bankers close to FirePro Systems, there has been immense interest and the buyout funds and strategic players are keen to take control of the company which is growing at a healthy pace. The company is looking to touch a topline of Rs 1,000 crore during the ongoing fiscal and has an impressive list of clients across various parts of the globe.

Investment bankers further indicate that the FirePro Systems chairman & MD N S Narendra is exploring all options of raising strategic growth funds and also may be looking at offloading control to a third party. Narendra could not be reached for comments. Ernst & Young is understood to be running the mandate on behalf of FirePro Systems.

FirePro Systems had earlier raised Rs 200 crore in two stages from private equity funds. During late 2009, Standard Chartered Private Equity had invested Rs 150 crore and earlier during early 2006 had raised Rs 50 crore AIG.

Founded in 1992, it has so far executed 1,500 projects across a range of sector spanning aviation, rail networks, oil & gas, education, banking, technology, healthcare, hospitality among many others.

The Indian corporate scenario in the recent past has been witnessing a series of $100 million plus private equity investment deals indicating that there is a sharp uptick in the PE players looking at Indian market with increased interest despite uncertainty in the global markets.

According to data from Venture Intelligence, a research service focused on Private Equity and M&A transaction activity in India, the largest PE investment during Q2 ’11 was the Rs 2,250 crore (about $500 million) commitment by Apollo Management to various group companies of the manufacturing and infrastructure focused Welspun Group.

Other top investments reported during Q2 ’11 included commitments of about $150 million each for thermal power generation firm Diligent Power (by Warburg Pincus), hotel management and investment firm Samhi Hotels (by GTI Group) and airports operator GMR Airport Holdings (by StanChart PE, Old Lane and JM Financial). Riding on this spike, private equity firms invested about $2.9 billion 112 deals during the quarter ended June 2011, a 45 per cent YoY jump.

Source: Business Standard


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