Praj Inds picks additional 9.8% stake in water treatment firm Neela Systems for $2.3M

Praj Industries Ltd has acquired additional 9.8 per cent stake in its Mumbai-based subsidiary Neela Systems Ltd for Rs 12.49 crore ($2.3 million), according to a company disclosure.

Post-transaction, Praj Industries will be holding 60 per cent stake in Neela Systems. It had picked 50.2 per cent stake in Neela for Rs 64 crore in January this year.

Founded in 1989 by Himanshu Shah, Neela Systems designs and manufacturers water treatment systems, and caters to pharmaceutical, bio-pharmaceutical, food & beverage, cosmetics and healthcare industry. It has a manufacturing facility at Wada, Mumbai.

Pune-headquartered Praj provides hiferm fermentation, ecofine distillation, ecomol dehydration and wastewater treatment solutions to alcohol ethanol plants and offers technology, plants and services for biodiesel production. It also provides engineering, design, technology and project services, as well as agro energy consultancy services.

Praj is backed by names like ace stock investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, Norwegian sovereign wealth fund and Tata Capital.

In March 2010, Praj Industries sold its entire stake in Praj Schneider Engineering Inc. for an undisclosed amount. Praj Schneider was acquired in November 2006 for $5 million.

There had been several deals in the water treatment space. Only last week, CLSA invested $15 million in Earth Water Group. Also earlier this year, IFC said it might invest up to $24 million in Ahmedabad-based Doshion while SAIF Partners-backed steel product manufacturer Pennar Industries said it was acquiring 51 per cent stake in Pennar Enviro Ltd, which specialises in water and waste water treatment, for Rs 4.27 crore.

Last August, JITF Water Infrastructure Ltd acquired the remaining 50 per cent stake in New Delhi-based JITF Manila Water Development Company Ltd for an undisclosed amount from its joint venture partner Manila Water Co. Inc. In the same month, Platinum Ocean Energy Ltd acquired 51 per cent stake in Membrane Filters India Pvt Ltd for an undisclosed sum. In July 2011, Tecpro Systems Ltd acquired Ambika Projects India Pvt Ltd for $2.29 million.

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)

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