Friday, March 23, 2007

Kotak PE invests Rs. 100 crores in logistics firm DRS Logistics, $12 mn in Home Solutions Retail

Kotak Mahindra Bank, through its private equity fund, the India Growth Fund, has invested Rs. 100 crores in Hyderabad-based DRS Logistics, better known by its brand name Agarwal Packers and Movers. The funding would be used to set up logistics parks across six cities where land has already been acquired.

The Rs. 200 crore-company has also applied to the director general of civil aviation (DGCA) to kick off an air cargo airline in the country. Besides, it is in talks for leasing two aircrafts to operate services in six sectors, covering the four metros and Bangalore and Hyderabad.

DRS owns warehousing infrastructure in Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Chennai totaling 1.5 mn sq ft in space, and is looking to add an equal amount of space next year expanding to a total of six cities to set up logistics parks. The company plans to invest Rs. 150 crores on this.

Read the DNA Money article.

Kotak’s India Growth Fund is also investing $12 mn in Kishore Biyani’s Home Solutions Retail India Limited, which is set to roll out Home Town, its new format modeled on Home Depot. This is the second round of private equity investment in the company after ICICI Ventures invested $27.3 mn in October 2006.

Home Town will offer everything a customer would need to build, furnish and decorate a home including building material, paints, tiles, electrical and plumbing products and services, furnishings, furniture and consumer durables. According to estimates, the current home market in the country is estimated at between Rs. 75,000 crores and Rs. 100,000 crores which is largely serviced by the unorganized market.

The first Home Town is slated to roll out on March 31 from Noida and thereafter in six other cities within six to nine months in cities, including Hyderabad, Bangalore, Pune, Thane, Surat and Ahmedabad at an investment of Rs. 150-175 crores. Each of the Home Town formats, which will be spread over at least 125,000 sq. ft., will also incorporate e-Zone, the electronics lifestyle format and the Collection-i, furniture and home accessories formats.

Read the DNA Money article.

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