Is infrastructure honcho Nikhil Gandhi eyeing a major foray into education with a stake buy in Chennai-based Everonn Education Ltd? Sources say that Nikhil Gandhi may buy a significant stake in Everonn, which would likely be through a fresh issue of shares. The stake could be very likely to be over 15%, which would then lead to a subsequent open offer.
Everonn Education Ltd informed the exchanges yesterday that a meeting of the company's board will be held on July 19 to consider and approve issue of redeemable optionally convertible debentures to persons not forming part of promoter / promoter group. It did not further elaborate in its announcement.
Calls made to Gandhi went unanswered. An email sent to Everonn did not elicit an immediate response.
It remains uncertain if Gandhi will make investment through SKIL Infrastructure or his another personal investment vehicle. Sources say that the offer by Gandhi is likely to be made at price Rs 500 per share, which may break the recent rapid rise in the stock. The share price of Everonn rose by more than 11.89% today, closing at Rs 598.75. The Rs 500 per share would value the company at around Rs 750 crore as compared to today's closing market cap of Rs 904 crore. Edelweiss may be the advisor on the deal.
The deal may not involve the promoter group, who currently have around a 26% holding, selling their stake. Institutional shareholders have a 35% stake in Everonn. India China Pre-IPO Equity Mauritius Ltd holds a 5.56% while private equity firm New Vernon holds a little more than 3% stake.
Everonn has recently announced an ambitious foray into K-12 space. It recently said that it plans to open around 300 schools, which will start under Ken Bridge brand, over the next 5 years with a total investment outlay of Rs 3,600 crore. Everonn is a fully integrated knowledge management, education and training firm. The company reported revenues of Rs 293.5 crore with a net profit of Rs 45.4 crore for FY10.
SKIL reportedly has major plans in education space. The infrastructure firm also has plans to build a Knowledge Corridor, which will be a specially planned fully residential Hi-tech city that will provide quality education, training and research in diverse fields. SKIL Group
recently bought the stake of partners Punj Lloyd in Pipavav Shipyard and also completed an open offer, strengthening its holding in the company.
SKIL Infra has managed to rope in private equity funds, many of whom are eyeing large opportunities in the education space. SKIL Infra has itself raised funding from AIG's PE arm. Pipavav Shipyard, which raised funds from Valiant Capital recently has bagged funding from firms like New York Life, Citadel, Trikona Trinity.
This calendar year has already seen 13 deals worth $168 million till date, 90% higher than the total investments of $88 million across five deals witnessed in the whole calendar 2009, according to VCCEdge, the financial research platform of VCCircle. The largest deal came when PremjiInvest put $44 million in Manipal Universal Learning Pvt Ltd.