15 May, 2021

Why The Net Is A Big Deal

It’s the biggest-ever Net deal in India. IIT-ian Rajesh Jain strikes pay-dirt as Satyam Infoway puts Rs 500 crore, cash down, for his Indiaworld.

Why The Net Is A Big Deal

Almost every morning, while driving to office in Mumbai, one saw a bespectacled 32-year-old entering the Jain temple near Babulnath. Last Monday, the gods took a collective decision to shower him with blessings.

In the biggest-ever Internet deal in India, Rajesh Jain’s portal site IndiaWorld was bought by Satyam Infoway (SIFY) for a few lakhs short of Rs 500 crore on November 22. To start with, Jain got Rs 122.2 crore cash for a 24.5 per cent stake in SIFY and Rs 51.3 crore as non-refundable deposit. By September 2000, a deadline extendable by three months, SIFY has to pay up another Rs 325.2 crore for the balance 75.5 per cent stake. If it can’t, Jain keeps the deposit with an option to sell the 75.5 per cent to the next bidder at probably an even higher price.

Says George Thomas, chairman of Omega Interactive Technologies: "Most Net deals-Sabeer Bhatia’s Hotmail or Junglee.com-involved equity swaps and stock options. A cash deal like this is a first." Adds Rajiv Arora, chairman of the Internet Services Providers Association of India (ISPAI):...

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