SpiceJet and GoAir Look at Consolidation - Low-cost carrier SpiceJet is in talks with the Wadia group-owned GoAir for either a merger or to acquire a controlling stake. Sources close to the development said SpiceJet CEO Sanjay Aggarwal met GoAir Managing Director Jeh Wadia to discuss a deal late last month. Sources from both companies say that SpiceJet recently made an offer to GoAir Chief Financial Officer G P Gupta to join the Delhi-based airline as chief administrative officer. (Business Standard)

Mallya Says Four Spirit Makers Interested in Buying Stake in USL - Liquor baron Vijay Mallya has said four global spirits makers including Diageo, the world’s largest, have shown interest in acquiring a stake in United Spirits Ltd (USL) promoted by him. Though Mallya did not reveal the names of the four firms, he said that all four were serious about the deal. According to company officials, the group is open to selling up to 14.9% of a total of 17% of treasury stocks in USL to strategic partners.(Business Standard)

Satyam Shares Sold in Open Offer to Be Taxed - Domestic shareholders who sell shares of Satyam Computer Services in the open offer made by a strategic investor will have to pay tax on capital gains. Tax will be charged, irrespective of the period of holding the shares, since an open offer is an off-market transaction. As per the norms cleared by SEBI last week, the strategic investor in Satyam will have to make a mandatory open offer of at least 20% of the shares, after acquiring up to 31% through a preferential allotment. The open offer will have to be made at the same share price as the price paid by the acquirer in the preferential allotment (while subscribing to newly-issued equity shares). Capital gains will accrue to a shareholder of Satyam if the openoffer price is higher than the cost of acquisition of shares. Domestic shareholders will be charged a 30% tax on short-term capital gains, if any. (The Economic Times)

TCS to Lay Off 1300 Employees in 2009 - Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has decided to fire around 1,300 employees or 1% of its global workforce this year. About 100 employees have already been sacked in Chennai alone in the last two weeks. This comes in the wake of recent announcements by the company’s MD S Ramadorai 10 days back that variable pay of employees is being reviewed this year, to counter the tough economic situations across the globe. The IT major has also increased working hours to 45 hours per week from 40 hours effective April 1. (Times of India)

UBI to Get Rs 250 Crore Capital - The government is proposing to inject Rs 250 crore into the Kolkata-based United Bank of India and simultaneously restructure capital to help the state-owned lender raise funds from equity market. The proposal to recapitalise the bank, which will shore up capital adequacy ratio to over 12 per cent, is likely to come up before the Cabinet next week. As part of capital restructuring exercise, the government will reduce its paid-up capital of the bank, which will raise earning per share of UBI. ()

RBI May Extend the FCCB Buy Back Deadline - The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is considering a proposal to allow companies another six months to buy back or prepay their Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds (FCCBs). The deadline for the original buyback scheme ends on March 31. Of the 156 companies that raised money through FCCBs, which are a mix between a debt and equity instrument raised in a foreign currency, nine companies have exercised a premature buyback option after RBI announced the scheme in December 2008. Sources close to the development said RBI had observed that many companies were finding it difficult to raise money overseas to fund the buyback programme owing to tight liquidity conditions and the high cost of funds. RBI may even consider extending the facility for companies for the entire new financial year 2009-10, since some of them are short of internal accruals to finance the buyback programme. (Business Standard) 

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