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Blackstone hires former Microsoft India chief

Blackstone hires former Microsoft India chief
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First Published: Mon, Dec 01 2008. 10 09 PM IST

 Latest addition: Rajiv Kaul joins the Blackstone group.
Latest addition: Rajiv Kaul joins the Blackstone group.
Updated: Mon, Dec 01 2008. 10 09 PM IST
Mumbai: Global private equity firm, Blackstone Group Lp., has brought on board Rajiv Kaul, former chief executive officer of Microsoft India, and recently a partner with Actis Capital Llp., a private equity fund focused on emerging markets, to head the operations of the latest addition to its portfolio.
Latest addition: Rajiv Kaul joins the Blackstone group.
On 26 November, Blackstone closed a deal with the CMS Group, carving out a new company from CMS Computers Ltd. The new firm, in which Blackstone will hold a 52.5% stake, will focus on IT infrastructure management and outsourced business services consisting of card solutions, transaction printing solutions and ATM cash management.
Akhil Gupta, chairman and managing director of Blackstone Advisors India Pvt. Ltd, declined to give details of the transaction. According to people familiar with the deal, Blackstone’s investment is worth approximately $50 million (Rs250 crore).
Incidentally, Blackstone had declined to invest in CMS Computer a year ago because its promoter, Ramesh Grover, was not willing to cede majority control to the private equity firm. “We had said we’ll do it only if we control the company. A year later, he (the promoter) said yes, I am prepared to give you control. We have a little over 50%, and he has a little less than 50%, but we will drive the company,” said Gupta.
Blackstone will have four board seats in the new company, which has an estimated turnover of Rs600 crore.
“We are hoping this deal will set the trend for lots of further deals, where the promoter feels this is a model to create value for their companies. Give up control, have a professional CEO, and hopefully they’ll end up making more money with the little less than 50% they own than on holding more than 50%,” said Gupta.
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First Published: Mon, Dec 01 2008. 10 09 PM IST