Friday, November 30, 2007

3i India Infrastructure Fund Invests $101 Million in Soma Enterprise

Hyderabad’s engineering and construction firms continue to attract private equity investments. 3i India Infrastructure Fund, an investment fund established by 3i Group, has invested $101 million for a minority stake in Soma Enterprise Ltd, a city based engineering and construction firm. Company Chairman and MD, Ankineedu Maganti and his family will maintain a large majority stake in the business, a release said.

Previously, Hyderabad’s infrastructure construction companies like Ramky Infrastructure ($28 million from Sabre-Abraaj, IL&FS Investment), Ramky Group ($100 million from Lehman Brothers), KVK Energy & Infrastructure ($26 million by Old Lane) and Indu Projects ($33 million from Citigroup Venture Capital) have landed private equity funding.

Established in 1997, Soma is a large infrastructure developer in India with an order book of $1.6 billion. It is a leading player in the infrastructure construction industry, specialising in multi-disciplinary engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts across segments such as roads, irrigation, hydropower and urban infrastructure. The company is increasingly concentrating on developing build-operate-transfer (BOT) projects.

2) 3i, world leading venture capital and private equity company is investing $25.8m in Vijai Electricals Limited ("Vijai").

Vijai (Dasari Jai Ramesh, Chairman) is among the largest players in the power transmission and distribution equipment industry. The company is investing over $70m in expanding its product range to include extra high voltage power transformers and switchgear through technology tie-ups with majors in Japan and Russia. Vijai is also a leading player in undertaking turn-key projects in the transmission and distribution space.

3) 3i, is also investing $44.4m in Navayuga Engineering Company Limited ("NECL").

NECL (Chinta Visveswara Rao, Chairman) is a leading player in the infrastructure construction industry and is specialised in undertaking multi-disciplinary EPC (engineer, procure, construct) contracts in ports, irrigation, hydro-power and bridges. It has an order-book in excess of $1bn and an impressive track-record in quality and delivery. It has embarked on an ambitious expansion plan through investments in BOTs (build-operate-transfer projects) in specific area.

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