Templeton invests $21m in Indian oil & gas services

The minority investment in Shiv-Vani Oil & Gas Exploration Services will help the company fund its equipment and technology needs and fuel its growth plans.

Templeton Asset Management has invested INR934 million (€15.4 million; $20.6 million) in Shiv-Vani Oil & Gas Exploration Services, an Indian onshore oil and gas service provider, for a stake of 5.3 percent. 
The investment was made from Templeton Strategic Emerging Markets Fund III (TSEMF III), a $147.7 million private equity fund which has now deployed $98.1 million across seven investments.
Shiv-Vani is among India’s largest onshore oil and gas service providers focused on deep well drilling and seismic services, the firm said in a statement. The company provides end-to-end services in drilling, extraction, compression and dispatch of gas in its coal bed methane business.
The investment will be used to fuel the company’s growth plans. “Our investment will fund the ongoing equipment and technology needs that will make Shiv-Vani a force to reckon with in the global arena for exploration services,” Mark Mobius, executive chairman of Templeton Asset Management, said in a statement. The investment fits well with the firm’s exposure to the energy sector globally, he added.
In October 2009, TSEMF III invested an undisclosed sum to acquire a 19.3 percent stake in Halcyon Energy, a Singapore-headquartered engineering and construction services provider for the offshore oil and gas industry. 
TSEMF III makes investments in listed and private companies across emerging markets globally. Templeton Asset Management, which manages the fund, has Asian offices in Hong Kong, Mumbai, Seoul, Shanghai and Singapore. The emerging markets team at Templeton Asset Management manages assets of about $33.4 billion as of 28 February 2010.  
Franklin Templeton invests in India through two other private equity funds as well. One of these is the Franklin Templeton Private Equity Strategy Fund, which raised capital from only retail investors and closed on INR6.3 billion in October 2008. 
That fund is advised by Darby Asia Investors (India), the private equity affiliate of Franklin Templeton, which already invests in India through Darby Asia Mezzanine Fund II, which closed on $254 million in October 2007. Darby Asia Mezzanine Fund II invests across Asia and has a focus on China, India and Korea.