Private equity firm Jacob Ballas has invested Rs 100 crore ($20 million) in privately held DBM Geotechnics and Constructions Pvt Ltd through NYLIM Jacob Ballas India Fund III to buy an undisclosed minority stake in the Mumbai-based company.

DBM is into geotechnical services and is also engaged in EPC services, mainly in the areas of foundation engineering and marine infrastructure construction.

DB Mahajan, chairman and managing director of DBM, said, “We believe NYLIM-JB’s understanding of the Indian infrastructure sector and global best practices will help DBM to expand business to new heights and create value for all stakeholders.”

Sunil Chawla, Partner at Jacob Ballas Capital India Pvt Ltd, the investment advisor to the NYLIM-JB Fund, said, “DBM has carved a niche for itself in geotechnical investigation and foundation engineering businesses. While these two verticals will continue to aid the infrastructure growth in the country, the growth engine for DBM in the years ahead will be marine infrastructure construction, given the amount of activity now witnessed – both at major and non-major ports.”

As a part of this investment, Chawla will be joining the DBM board.

Yes Bank was the exclusive advisor to DBM on this transaction.

Set up in 1990, DBM has executed more than 3,000 geotechnical projects till date. It moved into foundation engineering in 2004 and then into ports and marine infrastructure construction in 2008. It is now one of the few players providing full service offerings related to ports and marine infrastructure construction, including design, engineering and project management services.

DBM employs around 440 people and operates about 175 rigs for drilling and piling operations. The company has a soil mechanics laboratory and an engineering workshop at Taloja in Navi Mumbai.

This is Jacob Ballas’ second investment in as many months. A few weeks ago, it committed Rs 200 crore in Religare Finvest Ltd, an NBFC focused on small and medium enterprises and a wholly owned subsidiary of Religare Enterprises Ltd.

Prior to that, the PE firm had invested Rs 67 crore in Vivimed Labs Ltd, a Hyderabad-based manufacturer and exporter of specialty chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

Last year, too, Jacob Ballas had been active in the infrastructure space and invested in GMR Airports Holding Ltd besides putting in Rs 150 crore in Agra-based infrastructure ancillary firm PNC Infratech Ltd, which specialises in construction of highways, bridges, flyovers and airport runways.

The NYLIM-JB Fund and its predecessors have, so far, invested in 24 companies across a diverse range of sectors, including telecom, ports, power, engineering construction, shipbuilding, auto components, IT consulting, general manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and financial services. Some of the earlier investments by these funds include Bharti Airtel, Gujarat Pipavav Port, Punj Lloyd, ABG Shipyard, Reliance Infrastructure, Pipavav Defence & Offshore Engineering Co., Commercial Engineers & Body Builders Co. (CEBBCO), Bhilwara Energy, Mahindra Holidays & Resorts, Financial Software and Systems, SEW Infrastructure, Vivimed Labs and Religare Finvest.

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