Aditya Birla Capital Advisors, private equity arm of the Aditya Birla Financial Services Group, has invested Rs 95 crore in Alphion India Pvt Ltd. Alphion India is the principal subsidiary of New Jersey-based Alphion Corporation, a developer and manufacturer of optical communications access systems and components. The investment has been made from Rs 880 crore Aditya Birla Private Equity – Fund I.

Alphion develops, manufactures and globally provides optical fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) access systems, subsystems and integrated photonic devices. These access systems offer optical networking solutions for the rapidly emerging FTTx market and the portfolio includes a full range of products for central offices, outside plants, customer premises and network management. Alphion is the pioneer in developing all PON (passive optical network) extension solutions to extend the reach of broadband services.

Earlier this year, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd chose Alphion GPON technology for the first phase of deployment of triple-play FTTP services for its next-generation network.

The global market for PON equipment stands at an annual $4 billion and it is growing at a CAGR of 20 per cent. The current Indian market for PON equipment is estimated at about $300 million per annum and it is expected to grow rapidly as service providers are in the process of rolling out FTTx services across the country, a statement said.

Alphion was founded in 2000 by Dr Bharat P. Dave who has spent over 15 years at Bell Labs. The US-based parent is backed by a host of investors including Goldman Sachs, ICCP Venture Partners, Tallwood Venture Capital, Narra Venture Capital and Axiom Venture Partners.

“Alphion is a unique player in the telecom sector, offering proprietary R&D-based, high- speed optical networking systems and solutions which empower carriers and local service providers to deliver high quality services with substantially lower operating costs. Apart from India, where we expect encouraging growth prospects with investments in broadband and data services infrastructure, Alphion is also positioned to capture customers in other emerging markets,” said Bharat Banka, CEO of Aditya Birla Capital Advisors.

This is the fifth investment of Aditya Birla Private Equity – Fund I. Its most recent investment was Rs 62.5 crore in GEI Industrial Systems Ltd, a manufacturer of air-cooled heat exchangers and condensers. Another investment was into CARE, India’s second largest credit analysis and research institution, which has recently filed for an IPO. The rest included Anupam Industries, a manufacturer of material handling equipment, and the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Aditya Birla Capital Advisors also made Rs 220 crore first close for its Sunrise Fund, which will target emerging sectors in the Indian economy, such as life skills and applied technologies. This fund made its by investing Rs 40 crore in SMS Paryavaran, a water and wastewater treatment company.

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