SOLAR POWER FIRM COBOL TECHNOLOGIES DIVESTS MINORITY STAKE, RAISES RS 151CR

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SOLAR power firm Cobol Technologies, owned by Deepak and Ratul Puri of Moser Baer, has raised about $30 million, or about Rs 151 crore, from Pangea Emerging Infrastructure Fund, in return for a minority stake.

Cobol has raised the funds through the issue of fully convertible debentures (FCDs) to Mauritius-based Pangea in three tranches. The FCDs are compulsorily convertible into equity shares by March 31, 2012.

As per the agreement between the two firms, the number of equity shares to be issued to Pangea shall not exceed 49% stake in Cobol. Moser Baer chairman and managing director Deepak Puri and executive director Ratul Puri own 50% each of the solar power firm.

Cobol Technologies was incorporated in August 2007 as Shri Shyam Entertainment and was rechristened in December ‘07. It operates in the area of electricity generation and distribution and is currently setting up a 5 mega-watt (MW) solar power project in Uttar Pradesh. This marks an expansion of business in the non-conventional power sector for Deepak Puri and Ratul Puri.

The duo are promoters of Moser Baer, the optical storage firm that has also branched out in solar photovoltaic and entertainment businesses. Moser Baer has outlined plans to invest $3.2 billion in the solar business and is also setting up a solar power project in Rajasthan, which is expected to become the largest grid-connected solar farm in India.

Pangea Emerging Infrastructure Fund is part of Pangea Capital, a mid-sized global fund house. It has three funds—including two emerging markets focused funds—with total assets under management of $111 million. Besides Pangea Emerging Infrastructure Fund, it has Pangea Emerging Markets Fund and Pangea Alternative Fund.

Pangea Emerging Infrastructure Fund, which has invested in Cobol, targets both listed and unlisted Indian infrastructure companies. It invests in companies engaged in sectors such as energy, oil & gas, roads, ports and telecom.

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