Osian's sells 9.4 percent stake to PE firm

Osian's sells 9.4 percent stake to PE firm

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New Delhi: Osian's Connoisseurs of Art, a company founded by Neville Tuli, is selling approximately 9.4 percent stake to Abraaj Capital, Dubai based private equity firm, for Rs 80 crore ($20 million), reported Business Standard.

Osian's valuation, going by this transaction, is Rs 840 crore. Arif Masood Naqvi, vice chairman and group chief executive officer of Abraaj, will join the Osian's board.

Starting with its first auction in 2000, Osian?s has grown into a unique private-sector art institution straddling various sectors of art, films and lately, sports. In 2004, Osian's acquired film journal Cinemaya, and took over the organizing of Cinefan, the film festival.

Having acquired Minerva theatre in Mumbai in 2006, the company has also ventured into film production.

Last year, Osian's ventured into football with the Durand Cup and took over the management of a Delhi-based club. Then there is Osian's art fund, floated in 2006, with a corpus of Rs 100 crore. The company is looking at a public listing in 2009.

"Since its inception, we have sought to create a world-class infrastructure-building institution that takes a leadership position in key artistic and cultural sectors, demonstrating that a knowledge and creativity driven approach can also generate great wealth for the collective, let alone the institution," says Tuli, the largest shareholder with a 38 percent holding, in the media release to announce the tie-up with Abraaj.

Osian's has 48 other stake holders, with none holding more than 5 per cent. These include Shiv and Kiran Nadar, Sanjeev Khandelwal, Gautam Thapar, Kumarmangalam Birla, Kito de Boer, Kamal Morarka, Sangita Kathiwada, Jerry Rao, Priya Paul and Ashok Alexander, among others.

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