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November 19, 2005

"Sequoia-Indiatimes deal off"

Sequoia Capital has decided against partnering WestBridge Capital in their proposed investment into Times Internet which operates the portal and e-commerce service, reports Businessworld.
It was planned that a consortium of WestBridge Capital Partners and Sequoia Capital will take up 15 per cent of Indiatimes' equity. But the deal did not go through. Now only WestBridge has taken a 2.9 per cent stake.

...Earlier, Indiatimes was keen on the 15 per cent stake sale as it wanted to list directly on the Nasdaq in the US. It reckoned that the experience and network of Goldman Sachs-backed WestBridge and Silicon Valley-based venture fund Sequoia Capital would have been valuable for the company in getting a strong valuation.

However, a recent guideline by the finance ministry has undone its plans. The ministry tightened the guidelines for foreign currency convertible bond (FCCB) and global depository receipt (GDR) issues to align them with the Securities and Exchange Board of India guidelines on domestic capital issues. This means that unlisted companies going abroad will first have to list in the domestic market.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder of Venture Intelligence India, which tracks venture capital activity in India and Indian-founded companies worldwide. View sample issues of Venture Intelligence India newsletters and reports.