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Kishore Biyani-owned Home Solutions Retail (India) has raised about Rs 150 crore through rights issue from its existing investors, ICICI Ventures Funds Management and Kotak SEAF India Fund to expand its business.

The two funds invested Rs 120 crore ($26.6 million) in 2006, with ICICI Venture taking a 15% stake and Kotak taking a 6% stake. Pantaloon Retail has more than 76% stake in Home Solutions Retail.

The money will be used to expand home building and improvement merchandise, furniture and consumer durables segments.

Home Solutions is a retailer of products like electronics, consumer durables, furniture and home improvement products, which are retailed under different brand names. These include eZone (high end consumer electronics specialty store), Collection I (luxury furniture & furnishings) and HomeTown (home improvement store).

The funds raised by Home Solutions will be deployed to increase the number of stores under its various brands.

Though private equity investors have mostly stayed away from investments general retail chains, their interest in speciality retail firms continues. Last year Sequoia Capital India invested Rs 120 crore (about $30 million) in apparel retail firm Cotton County Retail Ltd. Genesis Colors, which retails high end design clothing, raised Rs 110 crore from Sequoia, Mayfield and Silicon Valley Bank. Mobile retail chain UniverCell also raised Rs 100 crore from Peepul Capital last year.

 

Home Solutions Retail, a subsidiary of Pantaloon Retail, was started in 2006. Pantaloon owns more than 76.38 per cent stake in the subsidiary.

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