Tulip Tele looks to raise $75 mln from PE firms

MUMBAI Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:58am EST

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Tulip Telecom is in advanced talks with private equity firms to raise up to $75 million in the current fiscal year, its head said on Monday.

Tulip, a corporate data services provider, has been looking to raise money to fund expansion plans. In May this year, its board approved plans to raise 10 billion rupees.

"We are looking to raise equity in our data centre. So we will be looking at raising some equity there. We are in talks with (a) few players and we expect to close it fairly quickly," said Chairman and Managing Director H.S. Bedi.

"It could be up to $75 million. (There is) interest from... global players as well as local players," he said.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a World Economic Forum event in Mumbai.

Earlier this year, Tulip roped in IBM, the world's largest technology services firm, to partner its Bangalore-based data centre, aimed at boosting its offerings and enabling it to provide cloud computing and managed services applications.

It expects to generate revenue of about 10 billion rupees from the data centre, it has said earlier.

"We are on track to achieving 20 percent year-on-year growth. We have been doing it for the last 5 years and demand has been strong," Bedi said.

Earlier this month, Tulip reported a 12 percent rise in consolidated quarterly profit, while net sales grew 20 percent.

"Actually, pricing pressure has eased off. Earlier pricing used to be more competitive. Big players have always been there, it was the new telcos who came and messed it up," Bedi said.

At 12:05 p.m., shares in Tulip Telecom were trading 1.9 percent higher at 148.95 rupees in a Mumbai market up 0.8 percent.

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(Reporting by Swati Pandey and Sumeet Chatterjee; Editing by Rajesh Pandathil)