Eredene Capital looking to exit Ocean Sparkle, appoints MAPE

AIM listed investor Eredene Capital Plc has appointed investment banker MAPE to handle the sale of its stake in port operations and marine services provider Ocean Sparkle Ltd (OSL).

Eredene, which invests in Indian infrastructure companies, holds 6.65 per cent of OSL. It purchased the stake in 2010 for £ 7.3 million, and the projected sale is part of Eredene's strategy to realise all of its investments in India and to return capital to shareholders, said the company.

A privately-owned Hyderabad-based company, OSL generated total income of Rs 339 crore (£41.1 million) and pre-tax profits of Rs 56 crore (£6.8 million) in the year ended 31 March 2012. For the nine months ended 31 December 2012, OSL generated total income of Rs 291 crore (£35.4 million) and pre-tax profits of Rs 50 crore (£6.1 million), compared to revenue of Rs 240 crore (£29.1 million) and pre-tax profits of Rs 34 crore (£4.2 million) in the same nine-month period in 2011.

OSL operates large fleet of harbour tugs with a presence in most of the leading ports in India, including JNPT in Mumbai, Pipavav Port, Gujarat, Ennore Port, Tamil Nadu, Reliance Port and Terminals Limited, Gujarat and Cochin Port in Kerala.

It also has three joint ventures with the Port of Singapore Authority in India and has international operations in Oman and Sri Lanka.

MAPE was the advisor when Standard Chartered Private Equity purchased a minority stake in OSL in December 2012.

Standard Chartered Private Equity (SCPE) had invested $37 million (£ 25 million) to pick a minority stake, which involved a mix of primary issue and secondary stake purchase from existing shareholder of OSL.

Eredene Capital PLC has a portfolio of nine principal investments in India, eight in port services, warehousing and logistics and one in low-cost housing. In December, 2012, Eredene said it is selling its stake in Mumbai-based Matheran Realty Pvt Ltd and its subsidiary Gopi Resorts Pvt Ltd to an undisclosed buyer. Matheran and Gopi are developing a low-cost housing project near Mumbai.

Besides Eredene, the other minority private equity investments in the company include India Equity Partners and IFC.

(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)

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