Karbonn to Dilute Upto 20% Stake to Raise Funds for Overseas Expansion

Indian smartphone vendor, Karbonn is planning to raise funds by diluting 15-20% stake to private equity players for its global expansion plan to 65 countries, with 25 new countries in South East Asia, West Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe.

The amount of the deal is still undisclosed. Few years back, the company wanted to divest a similar amount of stack to raise INR 1000 Crore for setting up a manufacturing plant and an acquisition but didn’t meet with any success.

Karbonn

Discussions are on with some private equity players for stake offload. We will take decision on it in September this year,” Pradeep Jain, managing director, Karbonn Mobiles told ET. The company is also planning to enter new markets through a mix of retail sales and handset bundling with telecom service providers in certain countries. “We are targeting 3 or 4 position in these markets,” Jain said.

The company is aiming to enter China next year and export some 12 million devices in 2015. It is expected to launch completely localised Windows Phone OS powered smartphones, packed with Indianised applications and services this quarter. “Microsoft sees great value in developing ecosystem through partnership with local players like Karbonn,” said executive director Sashin Devsare.

The company would launch three Windows Phone OS based smartphones in the affordable segment, Devsare said. The segment typically is between Rs8,000 and Rs15,000. Also, it plans to launch 4G smartphones and looking to tap the Indian wearables device market with smartwatches and smartbands, which will be launched in 2015.

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Economic Times says: The device maker is also betting big on the CIS countries, Russia and Ukraine. Micromax, India’s second largest smartphone vendor, had already forayed in to the Russian market earlier this year.

Devsare said that the company has secured distribution partnerships in Russia and Ukraine and would soon launch its customised products in both these countries. The company is aiming to export some 12 million devices in 2015 and would enter China next year.

Karbonn earned Rs 4,900 crore revenue last fiscal year ended March 31 and expects Rs 8,000 crore this fiscal year. It is investing Rs 400 crore in R&D and marketing this year. The company however has decided not to bring 4G smartphones this year, due to underdeveloped ecosystem.

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