CVCI invests $137M in Cox & Kings unit

Citigroup’s private equity arm, Citigroup Venture Capital International or CVCI, has invested $137.75 million (Rs 764.66 crore) in travel operator Cox & Kings Ltd’s subsidiary Prometheon Holdings (UK) Ltd. 

 “Part of the proceeds from the fund raising will be used to repay debt that Prometheon took to acquire Holidaybreak Plc, a UK-based travel company,” the company said in a press release. 

VCCircle had first reported the deal with CVCI on July 30. 

Last September, Cox & Kings acquired UK-based Holidaybreak Plc for Rs 2,250 crore through its wholly owned subsidiary Prometheon Holdings in the UK. 

For the financial year ended March 31, 2012, the company’s turnover rose to Rs 844.91 crore as against Rs 496.73 crore a year ago. Its net profit was, however, down to Rs 26.66 crore as against Rs 130.58 crore for in the same period a year ago. 

The company’s stock price rose 4.91 per cent to close at Rs 147.55 a share on the BSE in a weak Mumbai market on Wednesday. 

For CVCI, one of the more prolific private equity investors in India during the bull run (2005-08), this is the first fresh investment in more than a year. In June 2011, it had led a third round of funding worth Rs 65 crore in Bangalore-based microfinance institution Janalakshmi Financial Services. The current investment would also be its largest investment in an Indian portfolio firm in more than five years.

This is CVCI’s single biggest investment in India in Rupee terms, even topping its five year old investment in privately held brokerage Sharekhan.

(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)


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