Pulak Prasad's Nalanda Capital Pte Ltd has picked up a 5% stake in Chennai-based Carborundum Universal Ltd (CUMI) through a bulk deal at NSE. The stake in CUMI has been sold by the recently acquired Merrill Lynch. The deal was stuck at Rs 125, in which Merill Lynch Capital Market Espana S.A. SVB sold 4,766,392 shares to Nalanda India Fund. The total value of the deal is Rs 65 crore ($14 million).

Nalanda Capital, which has $400 million corpus, is a Singapore-headquartered private equity fund, which has a mandate to invest only in publicly listed companies. These are suitable times to do PIPE (private investment in public equity) transactions as the markets are down due to global financial crisis.

CUMI's 52-week high is Rs 191 and will be a value pick for Nalanda Capital. Nalanda has been started by Pulak Prasad, who was with Warburg Pincus, in 2007. It has also invested in Jaipur-based jewelry maker Vishal Gems.   

CUMI has operations three business segments - abrasives, ceramics and electrominerals. The company has been expanding its international presence both through inorganic and organic routes. In September last year the company acquired Russia's Volzhsky Abrasive Works for $37 million. It had also acquired ceramics division of IVP Limited for Rs 6.25 crore.

In the last two days Merrill Lynch has sold its stake in two other companies. It sold more than 2% United Spirits to Deustsche Securities for around Rs 340 crore and also sold its stake in Gammon Infrasructure.  


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