International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector investment arm of the World Bank Group, plans to invest up to $25 million (Rs 125) crore in Microqual Techno Pvt Ltd, a telecom equipment manufacturing and services company.
Microqual is planning to raise $55 million (Rs 275 crore) to roll out the first batch of transmission towers and IFC is considering an investment of up to $25 million through a combination of debt (IFC A Loan) and equity/quasi-equity instruments, according to an IFC statement.
The funding from IFC will be utilised by the company to set up transmission towers in several states across northern India. Microqual is also keen to expand its reach further by bagging rights to operate in other parts of the country.
In December 2010, Headland Asian Ventures Fund 3 Ltd (HAV3), a fund advised by Headland Capital Partners Ltd (formerly HSBC Private Equity Asia Ltd), invested Rs 40 crore in Microqual Techno. The telecom equipment manufacturer had also raised around Rs 40 crore from IndoUS Venture Partners, JAFCO Investment (Asia Pacific) Ltd and BTS India Private Equity Fund in July 2007.
The company is planning to foray into outdoor telecom infrastructure leasing business by installing mobile telecom towers on the existing electricity grid network. Microqual has also obtained exclusive rights for 10 years from Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd and state electric transmission companies to develop wireless telecom site solutions on selected power transmission towers for installing and operating mobile telecom equipment on those towers. The company intends to develop around 10,000-15,000 such towers across India and lease those to telecom operators. To enhance the technical and safety capabilities, Microqual has entered into a joint venture agreement with Buckley Cable Construction of the USA, which has two decades of experience in deploying and managing telecom infrastructure and providing power solutions.
Headquartered in Mumbai, Microqual Techno was founded by Mahesh Choudhary in 1999. The company is engaged in manufacturing, system integration and servicing/outsourcing of passive components for radio frequency/microwave industry. It also ensures complete service lifecycle –from site implementation, managed services, engineering and procurement & construction to overall project management. Microqual has three manufacturing facilities at Aurangabad, Bangalore and Rudrapur, and a R&D unit in Bangalore.
The company’s key clients include leading cellular service providers like Airtel, Orange, Reliance Infocomm and BPL Mobile, as well as Ericsson, Alcatel and Nokia on the OEM side.