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Samara Capital Ups Stake In Asian Oilfield Services

16 December, 2009

Private equity firm Samara Capital Partners is increasing its stake in BSE-listed Asian Oilfield Services Ltd. The PE firm, which is the single largest shareholder with a 13.3% stake, is picking up an additional stake through a preferential allotment of 4.05 million shares.

Asian Oilfield, which provides drilling and seismic services to oil firms, has also announced the resignation of its chairman and director Satya Pal Talwar citing pre-occupation.

The share price at which allotment will be made was not disclosed but will be as per regulation 76 of SEBI (ICDR) Regulations 2009, said Asian Oilfields. The deal will increase Samara’s holding in the company well above 15%, which would trigger an automatic open offer under SEBI regulations. When contacted by VCCircle, an official at Samara Capital declined to comment.

Shares of Asian Oilfields closed at Rs 63.20, up by nearly 5% on Wednesday. At this price, Samara could end up paying more than Rs 25 crore. An Extra Ordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the shareholders of Asian Oilfields has been called on January 19, 2010 to seek approval of this issue.

Taking control?

The Gujarat-based company is also seeking to increase share capital to Rs 20 crore divided into 20 million shares. Samara could end up owning anywhere between 27.5% and 36.2% after the issue and increase authorised capital. This stake will further increase after the open offer. All other institutional shareholders have a less than 5% holding in the company.

Samara earlier picked up a stake in Asian Oilfield for Rs 27 crore in early 2008, picking up the shares for Rs 180 each. It also picked up 750,000 warrants at that time. Interestingly, the promoter group of Asian Oilfields owns only a 8.42% stake, which will further go down after the fresh issue. Earlier reports have suggested that the promoters may look to exit the company.

Asian Oilfields reported revenues of Rs 61.7 crore with a net profit of Rs 5.3 crore in FY09. It competes with the likes of Shiv Vani Oil and Gas Exploration Services, which has been backed by Citigroup Venture capital, and Alphageo India.

Samara Capital has been founded by former Goldman and Citigroup executive Sumeet Narang. Its other investments include pharma retail chain Guardian Lifecare.


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Samara Capital Ups Stake In Asian Oilfield Services

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