Laser Soft buys back 16% from IL&FS arm

CHENNAI - 19 April 2007

LASER Soft Infosystems has bought back 16% stake from IL&FS Investment Managers, a move that could help the company in finding strategic investors, a senior official said. Mr. B. Suresh Kamath, MD, Laser Soft said the company exercised its first right of refusal to buy the stake back from the venture capital firm, after a new investor showed interest in that stake.

Mr. Kamath said: “We did not want a financial investor. We wanted a strategic investor who would help us in taking the company to European and US markets,’ he said.

In 2000, IL&FS arm picked up 16% stake in Laser Soft through two funds – Tamil Nadu Infotech Fund and Indian Auto Ancillaries Fund putting in Rs 20 million (US $ 450,000) and Rs 25 million (US $ 560,000) respectively. Mr. Kamath declined to comment on IL&FS’s exit price.

Laser Soft is focused on banking software applications and gets its revenue mostly from domestic and west Asian markets. It expects to report revenue of Rs.220 million (approximately US$ 5 MM) year ending March 2007, up 29% from Rs.170 million (US $ 3.80 MM) last year. Its core banking solution panacea has six customers, including Corporation Bank, Andhra Bank and Bank Muscat, Bahrain. Besides, about 35 banks including State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Canara Bank, UTI Bank use some of its products such as cash management and ATM reconciliation solutions.

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