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Report: Warburg Pincus eyes Laqshya Media

The firm is reportedly the frontrunner to acquire a stake of 15 to 20 percent in Indian outdoor media company Laqshya with at least four others in the fray.

Global private equity firm Warburg Pincus is close to investing $75 million (€47 million) in Mumbai-based Laqshya Media, according to Indian daily The Economic Times.

Quoting an unnamed source, the newspaper reported that Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse First Boston and Morgan Stanley are among the other parties vying for a stake in Laqshya, but a deal is likely to be signed with Warburg Pincus soon.

Laqshya is an integrated ‘out-of-home’ advertising company that owns and manages a variety of media assets such as billboards, hoardings and digital media for advertising purposes. It provides advertising services at airports, bus stations, on vehicles and in malls.

The company owns the signage rights for a new airport in the Indian city of Hyderabad and at Colombo’s international airport in Sri Lanka. It has operations in India, Sri Lanka, the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia and clients include lifestyle brands, financial institutions, food and beverage companies, electronics companies and television networks.

An investment from Warburg Pincus would be the third instance of Laqshya or a subsidiary raising money from private equity funds in less than two years. Last year, Saudi private equity firm Amwal Al Khaleej invested $37 million in Dubai-based Right Angle Media, a subsidiary of the company, and Indian venture capital firm UTI Ventures invested $10 million in the company in October 2006.

Warburg’s other Indian investments to date include financial institutions such as Kotak Mahindra and ICICI Bank, mid-market hotel company Lemon Tree, news and entertainment portal Rediff.com, newspaper group Writers and Publishers, and telecommunication service provider Bharti Tele-ventures.

Warburg Pincus declined to comment.