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UK`s GPC picks up 26.4 pc stake in Azure for Rs 50 crore

BS Reporter  |  Mumbai/ Ahmedabad 

In what could give an impetus to its plans for inorganic growth, Ahmedabad-based has received an investment of $ 32.5 million (Rs 130 crore approx.) from London-based (GPC).

To begin with, GPC has picked up 26.4 per cent equity stake in Azure for Rs 50 crore at Rs 576 per share. Subsequently, the London-based company will increase its holding up to 40 per cent, said Azure officials.

The ITeS and plans to utilise the funds raised through this investment for future acquisitions. Having successfully acquired 49 per cent stake in US-based Citizens Financial Mortgage, Inc. in April, the ITeS and is already in talks with domestic as well overseas players for acquisitions.

"We have been growing at over 200 per cent over the last two years and to sustain this growth rate and help us with our inorganic growth plans, we were looking for capital infusion from an investor. We would now be utilising the funds invested by GPC to fuel our inorganic plans. We plan to complete atleast two acquisitions, one domestic and one overseas, by the end of the financial year," said Dushyant Joshi, founder and chief executive officer of Azure.

Of the $ 32.5 million investment, Azure will be utilising around $ 15 million for the acquisitions, Joshi added. Apparently, the company claims that the investment by GPC is the biggest in a third party KPO in Western India.

Apart from inorganic growth, Joshi said that the investment will also help the company draw better senior management level talent from across the country and abroad.

"This investment will now put us on a global front wherein it will help us attract senior management level talent as well as draw bigger as our clients. Even the competition for us will now be global," he added.

According to Jay Ruparel, co-founder of Azure, the company also intends to explore fresh markets apart from existing ones like China, US and UK. "In our KPO business, after banking and financial services, the upcoming sectors worth exploring are healthcare and consumer packaged goods," Ruparel added.

Having pegged a turnover of $ 8 million (Rs 24 crore approx.) in fiscal 2007-08, Azure is targeting a revenue of $ 14 million (Rs 56 crore approx.) in financial year 2008-09.

First Published: Wed, August 13 2008. 00:00 IST