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Ascent Capital Backs Karaikal Port

Ascent Capital, a Bangalore-based private equity firm, has put 2 billion rupees ($42.3 million) into Karaikal Port Pvt Ltd., a unit of Chennai headquartered MARG Ltd., Reuters reported Friday. The money will be used for expansion of its southeast India-based seaport.

(Reuters) Karaikal Port Pvt Ltd, a unit of Chennai headquartered MARG Ltd., said on Friday it raised 2 billion rupees from Bangalore-based private equity firm Ascent Capital for its south-east India based sea-port.

The funds will be used for the expansion of MARG Karaikal Port that will enhance its planned capacity from 21 MMTPA to 28 MMTPA and involves an additional capex of 6 billion rupees, it said.

Ascent would buy promoter equity shares worth rupees 1.5 billion rupees, as per the agreement. It will also infuse primary capital amounting to 500 million rupees by subscribing to compulsorily convertible preference shares, it said.

In March 2010, Karaikal Port had attracted private equity investment by India Infrastructure Fund, it said, without specifying the amount it had raised.

At 12:04 p.m., shares in MARG Ltd, rose 4.3 percent at 89.70 rupees in a Mumbai market that was up 0.44 percent.

(Reporting by Ketan Bondre; Editing by Subhadip Sircar)