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SN Gupta, Hyderabad start-up advise on inbound hotels fund


SN Gupta & Co and one-year-old start-up India Legal have advised on Duet India Hotels' Rs 120 crore ($26m) fund investment in a Hyderabad hotel project with L&T Phoenix Infoparks.

Duet India Hotels, which is a UK-based investment advisory company focussing on the hospitality sector with a fund size of $167m, was advised by SN Gupta's Delhi private equity partner Amit Aggarwal, partner Munish Upadhyay and associate Devyani Dhawan.

India Legal founding partner Varalakshmi Tadepalli advised L&T Phoenix Infoparks, assisted by associates Vishnu D., Giriraj Karna and Sridevi Tumuluru.

The project is currently in its early stages and the necessary permissions and approvals are hoped to be completed within a year.

Duet India Hotels had acquired Dawnay Day's hotel business earlier this year.

Aggarwal (pictured) said that two similar deals in the private equity space were in the pipeline for the firm. "When these close, in spite of 2009 not being very good to us and other law firms [in private equity], we will have got our fair share of deals," he noted.

Private equity league tables for the first half of the year show private equity deal volumes to be at record lows in 2009.

SN Gupta's relationship with Duet is around two years old now, said Aggarwal, explaining that it came about through a referral from private equity group South Asian Real Estate Group which is one of the firm's clients.

India Legal's Tadepalli said that the deal would be good for Hyderabad. "We would definitely be looking forward to have the hotels coming here and to work on them in future."

She specialises in real estate work and started up India Legal in August 2008, having previously been Dua Associates' office in Hyderabad.

The firm is now seven lawyers strong, including Tadepalli and litigation partner S Nanda.

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