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News Roundup: Axis PE Managers May Buy Fund

04 February, 2010

Axis PE Managers May Buy Fund – The managers of Axis Private Equity (PE) are looking at buying out the promoter Axis Bank — a move that has left some leading investors in the PE fund outraged. These investors argue that they put money in the fund because of the reputation of Axis, and are unsure whether the PE fund will retain its clout if the ownership of the asset management company changes from Axis Bank to a string of professionals. The proposed deal, which is being negotiated, could be the first of its kind in the Indian venture capital and PE space. The PE arm of Axis had raised Rs 600 crore ($148 million) through its first fund, the Axis Infrastructure Fund, in 2008. So far, the fund has invested Rs 450 crore in five companies.  (ET)

Ascent Capital Closes Fund III At $350M – Ascent Capital, an Indian private equity firm focused on growth capital, has closed its Ascent India Fund III with commitments of $350 million. Ascent Capital has an association with UTI Ventures, and currently has about $600 million assets under management. Reportedly, Ascent India Fund III was over-subscribed, but the limited partners were not in favour of increasing the hard cap beyond what they believed to be the optimal fund size. (BS)

Hemendra Kothari To Buy Into ING Life – Hemendra Kothari, the former chairman of DSP Merrill Lynch, is set to acquire Ambuja Cements’ stake in ING Vysya Life Insurance for around Rs 190 crore. The deal is expected to be finalised soon. Ambuja Cements holds 11.5% in the life insurance venture, with Dutch financial services giant ING holding 26%. Exide Industries is the largest shareholder in the life insurance company with a 50% stake, while Enam Group holds the remaining stake. The deal values the company at around Rs 1,650 crore. (BS)

Vedanta Resources May List Aluminium Subsidiary – Anil Agarwal-promoted Vedanta Resources plans to list its aluminum business subsidiary, Vedanta Aluminum, this year. It plans to raise the funds for expansion. The company is likely to be listed on the London or Hong Kong stock exchanges to get better valuation through exposure to larger investor groups. Vedanta Aluminium has a $7.8-billion (about Rs 36,000 crore) investment plan to increase its fully integrated aluminium smelting capacity to nearly 2.6 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) by 2012. (BS)

GMR Infra To Refinance Rs 3,500Cr Debt – GMR Infrastructure, the Bangalore-based infrastructure developer, plans to refinance $750 million (Rs 3,500 crore) of debt, which it had raised to acquire 50% stake in Dutch power utility Intergen NV in mid-2008. It had acquired 50% stake in Intergen through its step-down subsidiary, GMR Energy Global Ltd, for close to $980 million (Rs 4,500 crore) by means of compulsory convertible debentures. GMR has appointed an advisor to explore options to refinance the debt. (BS)

Swan Energy Buys 49% Stake In GPPC – Swan Energy Limited (SEL), a Mumbai-based company, has received shareholders’ approval for picking up 49% stake in GSPC Pipavav Power Company Ltd (GPPC). Swan Energy or the erstwhile Swan Mills will emerge as the single largest stakeholder in the company once the deal is through. Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) and Gujarat Power Corporation Limited hold 34% and 17% stake respectively in GPPC. SEL will be paying Rs 381 crore for the stake. (BS)

Exide Plans To Raise Rs 500Cr Via QIP – Exide Industries is seeking to raise around Rs 500 crore through a qualified institutional placement (QIP) by this month-end or early March. The storage battery major is planning roadshows for potential investors in the United Kingdom and southeast Asia. The funds could be used for future acquisitions or for infusing capital into its life insurance venture, ING Vysya Life, where it has a 50% stake. It also plans to invest in technology, research and development and capacity upgradation. (DNA)

Bridgestone To Invest $37 Million – Bridgestone, a global tyre major, is investing $36.7 million (around Rs 169 crore) to produce truck and bus radial tyres in India. Production is scheduled to begin in the first-half of 2011 and the capacity will be increased to 400 units daily by the second-half of 2012. Bridgestone will expand operations at its Indore plant, which makes car and light truck tyres, to produce the new range. The company is in the midst of a Rs 260-crore expansion to enhance by 40% production capacity for auto and light truck tyres to 15,000 tyres a day by mid-2010. (Business Line)

Birla Shloka Close To Buying Vision India – Birla Shloka Edutech, part of the diversified Rs 3,000 crore Yash Birla Group, which develops customised software and multi-media learning system for the education sector, is close to acquiring Pune-based IT solutions provider Vision India. The company targets to seal the deal in the next 35-40 days. Birla Shloka currently serves over 70 private schools and plans to add another 375 in the next two years. (Business Line)

Chola DBS Finance Buys NBFC – Cholamandalam DBS Finance has acquired over 3 lakh shares of Cholamandalam Factoring, a non-banking finance company registered with the RBI. With this acquisition, Cholamandalam Factoring has become a subsidiary of the company with the aggregate holding of the company constituting 95.5%. The acquisition is expected to support the company in its collection activities. (Business Line)

Air India To Get Rs 800Cr Equity Infusion Soon – Loss making carrier Air India is likely to get an additional government equity infusion of Rs 800 crore. The government had sanctioned an earlier equity infusion of Rs 800 crore for this financial year, with a condition that the airline would save Rs 2,000 crore by the end of this financial year. The airline, however, has been able to save only Rs 700-800 crore through cost-cutting and it is very unlikely that it could meet the target of saving Rs 2,000 crore through cost-cutting by March 2010. Air India has been under huge losses of over Rs 7,200 crore and owes Rs 16,000 crore. (BS)

Crest Animation To Release Its First Film In October 2010 – Private equity-backed Crest Animation Studios Ltd, a Mumbai-based full-service studio for animation based content, has completed the production of its first 3D animated stereoscopic film Alpha and Omega (A&O). The movie is due for release through Lionsgate Family Entertainment in October 2010 across 2,200 theatres. A&O, directed by Anthony Bell and Ben Gluck, has been produced through the special purpose vehicle (SPV) route. The financing of A&O has been done by US-based hedge fund DE Shaw, which owns a 25% equity stake in the SPV. The balance 50% has been taken by the distributor Lionsgate, while 25% remains with Crest. (ET)


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News Roundup: Axis PE Managers May Buy Fund

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