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NALANDA India Capital, a Singapore-based investment fund run by ex-Warburg Pincus India head Pulak Prasad, has acquired more than ten lakh shares in outsourced product development firm Aztecsoft from ICICI Prudential Life Insurance through a bulk deal.

Industry observers said the deal was done with a view to hiking the fund’s stake in IT services firm MindTree, of which Aztecsoft is a subsidiary. Nalanda Capital also invested in MindTree earlier this month through a bulk deal, picking up 2% from Walden International for Rs 15.6 crore.

Buying the Aztecsoft shares would help the fund increase its stake in MindTree by an additional 0.5%, taking its total holding to 2.5%. MindTree proposed a 1:5.5 swap ratio for the merger of Aztecsoft with it.

Nalanda’s Aztecsoft buy is valued at Rs 3.8 crore, in return for a 2.36% stake in the company. Data from the BSE show that the fund bought 10, 76,915 shares at Rs 35.24 apiece. Of this, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance sold 10, 63,843 shares. The sellers of the remaining shares could not be determined immediately.

Nalanda Capital, which raised Rs 1,600 crore a couple of years back, has a mandate to invest in listed companies here. It seems to have a penchant for the open market and has previously bought shares in half a dozen companies including Mastek Global, Carborundrum Universal, Triveni Engineering, Kirloskar Engines, Sun TV and more recently MindTree. Nalanda typically buys shares in multiple lots and tends to pick up 7-8% in any company they invest in.

The Aztecsoft scrip on the BSE was down 30 basis points, ending 0.85% lower at Rs 34.95 compared to the previous close of Rs 35.25.

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