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Kuwait investment firm MarkabCapital picks up controlling stakes in Uniply Industries

FE Bureau
Kuwait, investment firm, MarkabCapital, Uniply Industries, Markab Capital, share purchase agreement

Kuwait-based multi-family investment firm Markab Capital on Wednesday said it has entered into a share purchase agreement with the promoters of Uniply Industries (an integrated architectural and design company in residential and commercial sectors) to acquire a controlling stake in the company. The deal values Uniply at over Rs 1,550 crore on a fully-diluted basis.

As part of the agreement, Markab Capital WLL, Kuwait, and its wholly owned Indian subsidiary, Markab India SPV, have acquired 20.7% shareholding from existing promoter Keshav Kantamneni and his group entities at Rs 82 per share, a premium of nearly 28% to the price of the shares of company at close of trading hours on Wednesday, said a late evening press release.

Keshav Kantamneni will retain 7% stake and continue in a key functional support role. The acquirer will make an open offer to public shareholders at a price of Rs 82 per share. The transaction aims to leverage the deep global relationships of Markab and create long-term value for shareholders of the company by bringing value and margin-accretive global contracts into the execution fold of the incumbent teams at Uniply.

Ahmad Al Omani, chairman of Markab, said: "We are delighted to enter the burgeoning Indian building solutions market with the acquisition of controlling stake in Uniply. We've been tracking the delightful transformation of the business from a fledgling plywood manufacturer to a fast-growing integrated building solutions provider over the past five years. It is a one-of-its-kind investment opportunity and I'm confident that we will bring enormous business value for Uniply from our extensive global relationships and portfolio companies."

"Markab is of the firm belief that India is at the cusp of a large investment drive into higher quality living standards and Uniply is uniquely positioned to capitalise on this opportunity," Kantamneni, chairman of Uniply, said.

"I welcome Markab Capital and Ahmad Al Omani as stakeholders and partners to the Uniply family. Markab brings to the table a wealth of investment experience with small and mid market companies around the world. Their hands-on approach to investing and proven track record of growing businesses will help strengthen the framework of growth at Uniply. I'm confident that Markab will create significant value over time," he said.

Markab Capital, which has offices in Kuwait, London and India, provides private equity as well as mezzanine and bridge debt to mid-sized businesses around the globe.