Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Times of India: Osian raises Rs 55 crore via private placement

[15 Jan, 2007 l 2323 hrs ISTlTIMES NEWS NETWORK]

MUMBAI: Osian's Connoisseurs of Art, India's pioneering arts and cultural institution has raised Rs 55 crore through private placement of equity to five new investors. They include a major Indian manufacturing company, three investors representing financial institutions and a major Oman-based investor group. Among investors representing FIs was Vallabh Bhansali, founder, Enam Securities. An art aficionado himself, he was spotted last month at Indiatimes Art Auction in Mumbai with his wife.

Shareholders in Osian's now include Shiv & Kiran Nadar, Kumarmangalam Birla, Gautam Thapar, Kito de Boer, Jerry Rao, Sanjeev Khandelwal, Sangita Kathiwada, Kamal Morarka, Priya Paul, and Ashok Alexander, among others.

When Osian's was founded in 2000 by Neville Tuli, who holds a majority stake, its share price was valued at Rs 10. The current stake though was picked up at Rs 1,400 per share, representing a premium of Rs 1,390. At this price, the company is now valued at close to Rs 590 crore. For stakeholders in Osian's, it represents a phenomenal 118% appreciation in their holding each year. Few companies witness such steep increase in their valuations over such a short time.

Osian's owns the finest archive, library and collection of medieval, modern and contemporary art and film culture in India. Conservative estimates place the value of this collection in excess of Rs 900 crore.

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