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Walden cedes 2% in Mindtree to Nalanda Cap

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G]lobal venture capital firm Walden International has sold a nearly 2 per cent stake of its holdings in IT services firm Mindtree to Singapore-based Nalanda Capital for Rs 15.6 crore. The sale effected through open market channels of the Bombay Stock Exchange on Tuesday lowered Walden’s stakeholding in the Bangalore-based company to about 15.8 per cent.

Mindtree Chief Financial Officer Rostow Ravanan said that his company had no direct role in the sale. “It is a deal arrived at between the respective firms at their price, and we have no part to play in the transaction,” Ravanan said when contacted.

San Franciso-headquartered Walden was an initial investor in Mindtree, when the latter had raised $9.1 million in its first round of funding in 2000. Walden had invested Rs 23.68 crore in Mindtree at Rs 41 per share. Walden also participated in the second round in 2001, in which Mindtree raised an additional $14.4 million.

Nalanda Capital is a $400-million PIPE (private investment in public enterprise) fund headed by Pulak Prasad with a mandate to invest in listed companies globally. In his earlier stint with Warburg Pincus as its joint managing director, Prasad had played a signal role in the leading the private equity firm’s $300-million investment in Bharti Televentures in 1998.

In December last year, Nalanda had picked up a nearly 2 per cent stake worth Rs 101 crore in Chennai-based Sun TV Network. It has about six other investments in companies such as Mastek, Triveni Engineering, Page Industries and Jaipur-based Vaibhav Gems.

With around 6,000 employees on its rolls, Mindtree is one of India’s most successful IT companies and has attracted funding from Walden International, e4e, Capital Group, Global Technology Ventures and Franklin Templeton, among others.

Last year, MindTree had acquired outsourced product engineering and testing services company Aztecsoft for around Rs 400 crore in one of the biggest deals in the domestic IT services space.

With a market capitalisation in the region of Rs 900 crore, MindTree has over 60 customers in the $1 million plus bracket, 13 in the $5 million plus category and three customers who bring in revenues of over $10 million. Over 40 customers are Fortune 500 companies, including AIG, Nissan, Volvo and Unilever.

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