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The IPO-bound, mid-sized exhibition and conferences company, Asian Business Exhibition & Conferences Ltd (ABECL, has got a validation from Gulf-based investor, QInvest. The Qatar-based investment bank has picked up a 28% stake in ABECL. The investment size was not disclosed. QInvest will take a seat on ABECL’s Board of Directors.

ABECL filed its DRHP with market regulator SEBI earlier this year, looking to dilute around a 40% stake. Anand Rathi was appointed as a book-runner to the issue. ABECL had revenues of Rs 15.17 crore for six month period ending September 2009 with a profit after tax of Rs 3.8 crore. It has revenues of Rs 45.6 crore in FY09 with a PAT of Rs 4.96 crore.

The Indian trade exhibition market is expected to expand substantially as a result of the country’s rapid GDP growth and its increasingly important role in global trade. There are other players like

Exhibitions India in this space also.

ABCEL's  portfolio comprises 15 exhibitions consisting of 65 events spread across 9 industry verticals, including events such as ACETech. Some of the other segments where it holds events include education, realty and lifestyle. The funds would be used expand ABECL’s operations in India and to establish an international presence.

QInvest earlier picked up a 25% stake in Mumbai-based financial services firm Ambit Corporate Finance for Rs 250 crore in February this year.

“Partnering with QInvest will accelerate our endeavor of institutionalizing ABECL. We are delighted to be working with QInvest to benefit from their experience in helping organizations through this kind of transition," said Surendra Mohan Gandhi, Chairman of ABECL.

“We are impressed by ABECL’s achievements in the past few years and see tremendous potential for the company in the growing Indian trade exhibition market. This investment fits well into our strategy of supporting well-managed companies with strong growth potential in the

MENASA region, and demonstrates our confidence in the Indian economy and our appetite to deploy capital in the country," said Shahzad Shahbaz, CEO of QInvest.

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