Peepul Capital LLC, a Hyderabad-based private equity fund, is likely to invest Rs 500-Rs 1,000 crore in debt-ridden Deccan Chronicle Holdings Limited (DCHL), which publishes English newspapers Deccan Chronicle, Financial Chronicle and Asian Age, and Telugu daily Andhra Bhoomi.
When contacted, Peepul Capital Managing Director C Srinivasa Raju said the company was willing to invest in Deccan Chronicle Holdings. However, he declined to specify the amount. “Our investment in DCHL would be from our $700-million fund (which includes $100 million of its own money). Since our firm has both dollar and rupee funds, it (the investment) will be a combination of both currencies,” he said.
Peepul Capital is the first company to evince interest in investing in DCHL, which accounts for debt of about Rs 5,000 crore.
Raju said it was likely the deal would take time to materialise. “I think the investment process into DCHL will take a long time because they don’t have a balance sheet. Unless there is a balance sheet, no fund can invest. Probably, they would call for expressions of interest from three to four investors like us. I think it would take at least three to six months from now,” he said.
Peepul Capital, which typically commits between $15 million and $25 million of equity in each transaction, has, so far, invested $450 million from its fund. Its investments include those in Hyderabad-based animation company DQ Entertainment, multi-lingual news agency IANS India Private Limited, Associated Broadcasting Corporation, which runs regional television news network TV9 and Visage Media Services, a strategic partner of Getty Images.