Cox and Kings India looking to raise funds for investment in travel firms in India, US, EU or Australia

A senior Company official announced Tuesday that Indian Travel operator, Cox and Kings India is keen on getting shareholder endorsement for raising about Rs 20 billion through equity and debt, in a bid to fund its ambitious growth plans, both in terms of domestic as well as offshore acquisition investments.  The company’s Financial Officer, Anil Khandelwal said the fund’s chief aim would be to fund the company’s acquisition plans as it is currently seeking acquisitions both in India and globally.


Even though Cox and Kings India is yet to conclude any acquisition investment targets, Khandelwal said it hopes to close a deal by end of the current financial year. The company plans to raise about Rs 10 billion from equity and the remaining equivalent sum as debt, with the equity portion being raised by way of domestic or international offerings, said Khandelwal.


However, the company is keen on undertaking the investments in developed English speaking countries to buy travel firms, with Europe, Australia and the US being high on the list. Cox and Kings India is parent to UK based unlisted firm Cox and Kings, and concluded its initial public offering (IPO) of its shares in December 2009.


Last December, the company’s unit had invested in Australia based MyPlanet Australia Pty Ltd & Bentours International Pty Ltd from a unit of TUI Travel Plc. Cox and Kings India’s net revenue for the period Jan to March were up 35% to Rs 449.9 million, with its shares currently trading at highs of Rs 507.4, a rise of 2.44% in the Mumbai market. The company’s planned investment represents raising an amount equivalent to about Rs 2,000 crore of equity and debt funds.


That translates to Rs 1,000 crore equity and Rs 1,000 crore debt financing for its future expansion that includes mergers and acquisitions, said Khandelwal, confirming that the company had already sought its Board’s endorsement for the ambitious growth plans. Cox and Kings India is out for multiple opportunities in the travel segment and pundits expect more than one acquisition from the company.


Its newly appointed global merger and acquisitions investments specialist, Peter Diethelm, will serve as a strategic adviser to its Board, as the company reports that it wants to be prepared with resources should an opportunity arise and thus the need to raise the funds for such investments. Currently, Cox and Kings India is in the process of concluding ways of raising the Rs 1,000 crore of equity while considering the best and cheapest mode for its Rs 1,000 crore debt proposal, both will be announced soon, said Khandelwal.


22 June 2010.