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Info Edge plans to raise Rs 750 cr to pump into 99acres

MUMBAI: E-commerce and online classifieds company Info Edge (India) has decided to raise Rs 750 crore (Rs 7.50 billion) through private placement of equity shares.

Funds will be raised through private placement of equity shares to qualified investors and utilised for capitalising loss-making real-estate site 99acres.com.

Announcement to this effect was made after the board of directors passed the resolution. The board also passed a resolution of increasing the company’s authorised share capital to Rs 150 crore (Rs 1.50 billion) from Rs 120 crore (Rs 1.20 billion).

Interestingly, to ensure successful placement of equity shares to overseas participants, the company’s board has given its approval to increase foreign institutional investor (FII) limit. After the approval, the permissible FII limit in the company stands increased to 50 per cent from earlier 40 per cent of paid-up capital.

As per the company’s filing, FII holding stands at 3,06,98,616 equity shares or 27.96 per cent of the total paid-up equity capital. Promoters along with persons acting in concert (PAC) and trust hold 50.15 per cent stake in the company.

Market grapevine suggests that the US private equity firm General Atlantic (GA) is in advance talks to buy stake in Info Edge. GA provides strategic support for growth companies while adopting collaborative global approach and partners companies that have exceptional businesses.

Info Edge has been investing in online properties on a regular basis. Earlier, the company had invested additional Rs 10.00 crore ($1.60 million) for 1.81 per cent stake in Applect Learning Systems Pvt Ltd, an online education assessment firm that runs a website called www.meritnation.com.

Following the latest round of funding, Info Edge’s investment in Applect Learning has increased to Rs 71.5 crore (Rs 715 million) for a 55.81 per cent stake on a fully diluted and converted basis. The latest acquisition was concluded at a higher valuation.

Of the total Rs 295.1 crore (Rs 2.95 billion) invested by Info Edge in nine investee companies (of which six are active), Applect Learning is the second highest recipient of funding.

Meanwhile, Info Edge, which operates Naukri.com, Jeevansathi.com, 99acres.com, Shiksha.com, etc., has reported a net profit after tax (on a standalone basis) of Rs 39.8 crore (Rs 398 million), up 34.9 per cent for the quarter ended 30 June 2014 vis-a-vis Rs 29.4 crore (Rs 294 million) in the same quarter last year.

Income from operations grew to Rs 144.94 crore (Rs 1.45 billion), up 20 per cent during the quarter under review.

Its subsidiary Naukri.com witnessed a 16 per cent growth while Jeevansathi.com saw a 9 per cent growth in the first quarter of this fiscal.

99acres.com posted a loss of Rs 4.5 crore (Rs 45 million) in Q1 FY2015.