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Mumbai, Nov 30

THE London-based Greater Pacific Capital (GPC) has picked up 20 per cent stake in Edelweiss Capital, a Mumbai-based full service investment bank, in two separate transactions, for Rs 120 crore.

GPC, an investment firm founded by three former Goldman Sachs top officials to capture the opportunity in high-growth markets in India and China, would also raise $300 million (Rs 1,377 crore) from overseas for investing in the Indian private and listed companies, Mr Ketan Patel, its founder and CEO, said at a press meet here on Wednesday.

"We hope to close the fund by February next year," he said, adding that by that time GPC would also register itself as an FII with the Securities and Exchange Board of India.

Elaborating on the transactions with Edelweiss Capital, Mr Rashesh Shah, CEO and Managing Director of Edelweiss, said GPC bought nine per cent stake from Connect Capital, which has been an investor with Edelweiss for the last five years, for Rs 50 crore. Edelweiss also issued fresh capital for 11 per cent to GPC for Rs 70 crore, Mr Shah said.

He said the additional funds would help Edelweiss in expanding its next phase of growth involving scaling up the asset management equity capital markets and private client businesses in India and on a global scale.

The investment bank, which expects its revenues to touch Rs 140 crore this year, up from Rs 10 crore five years back, is also lining up real estate and private equity funds of $100 million (Rs 459 crore) each for investments in India.

Mr Patel, who addressed the news conference with Mr Joe Sealy and Mr Francis Crispino, his partners at GPC, said the company was looking at a long-term horizon for its investments in India.

He said GPC was confident of giving a minimum of 25 per cent returns to its investors over of period of 5-10 years in India.

The minimum deal size for GPC's investments in India would be $25 million (Rs 114 crore), he said. "We are not putting a cap on outer limit," he said, adding that this could be even worth $250 million.

Sectors such as pharmaceuticals, outsourcing, knowledge process outsourcing, communications technology, disruptive technologies, energy and real estate hold good potential for investments in the country, he said.

Currently, GPC is in the process of negotiations with pharmaceuticals and outsourcing company for investments, Mr Patel said, without divulging more details.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 1, 2005)
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