US Pakistanis’ firm plans to acquire Indian IT company
KARACHI: The Calabasas, California based, NetSol Technologies, a developer of proprietary software applications, owned by overseas Pakistanis, has announced that it is seeking to acquire an Indian IT company.
The company is the, first Pakistan-based US company to be listed on the Nasdaq, and is managed by the Ghauri brothers Naeem, Najeeb and Salim.
Another Ghauri is targeting India’s riches. To be precise, its booming IT sector, a website of an Indian newspaper said.
NetSol, in a press release, said it has engaged the UK-based Langham Capital, which seeks expansion opportunities in India. “Our new contracts and sales pipeline require faster deployment and a larger pool of skill sets,” said NetSol CEO Naeem Ghauri, adding: “We believe that we can most effectively develop the added infrastructure we need in India and the added offshore capability as well as diversification, in turn, could drive additional business.”
He said the company hopes an Indian presence would complement its Lahore facility, adding the name Ghauri is not new to Indians, as the invasion by the 12th century Afghan king Mohammed Ghauri paved the way for the Islamic rule in Delhi.
“Will this Ghauri be able to plunder’ India’s IT riches? More interesting, how will the BJP-led government at the Center react to such a scenario?” he questioned.
Naeem Ghauri said a quick search on the Net shows the Ghauris are no pushovers, though NetSol started shifting its focus from the garment industry to information technology soon after it became public at the height of the dotcom boom, adding the company soon began announcing acquisitions and expansion plans.
He said the NetSol shares began to rise dramatically with die help of a Nasdaq Small Cap listing and a steady stream of hype supplied by a group of hedge funds dominated by Blue Water Master Fund LP, adding by March 2000, Blue Water had accumulated almost 24 percent of the NetSol stock.
But as the dotcom boom turned into a bust, the NetSol stock also came crashing down, said Naeem Ghauri, adding in 2001; a group of insurgent shareholders led by Blue Water, staged a proxy contest to dislodge the ghauris and gain control of the company.
The Ghauris, however, fought back and won the battle. They continue to dominate the management and keep shifting roles, he added.
Najeeb Ghauri, who resigned as CEO in August 2001 remains on the Board of Directors. Brother Naeem succeeded Najeeb as CEO and resigned from the Board of Directors in August 2001.
Now, however, Naeem has returned to the board, along with a third brother, Salim, who runs NetSol’s Pakistani subsidiary, NetSol solutions (Pvt.) Ltd. And, NetSol international is now NetSol Technologies, Inc.
Source: Business Recorder