Aditya Birla Group To Buy US Company For $900M - The Aditya Birla Group is set to acquire US carbon black manufacturer Columbian Chemicals in a deal that could close as early as next week. Negotiations are at the last stages with deal size expected to be around $900 million (Rs 4,100 crore). Aditya Birla Group is also in talks with several banks to tie up acquisition funds including Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and other foreign banks. JP Morgan is advisor to the deal. (Business Standard)

Renuka Ramnath's Multiples Gets $70M From Kuwait Govt. - Multiples Alternate Asset Management, a private equity (PE) fund founded by Renuka Ramnath, the former CEO of ICICI Venture, has received Rs 325 crore ($70 million) for its offshore fund from the Public Institution for Social Security, a pension fund run by the Government of Kuwait. With this fund, Multiples has achieved a corpus of more than $425 million. It is targeting a size of $450 million. In March, the government-run Canada Pension Plan Investment Board made an anchor investment of $100 million into the fund. (Business Standard)

Ascent Capital Exits Koutons At Loss - Ascent Capital, one of the principal investors in the cloth seller Koutons Retail India Ltd,, has exited the firm at a loss and considers the investment a “write-off”. This comes three months after a spate of lawsuits were filed in the Delhi high court by suppliers to recover their dues from Koutons. Ascent Capital, formerly known as UTI Ventures, invested about Rs.54.6 crore in Koutons through two rounds in 2006.

Shemford To Invest Rs 1,500cr In New Schools - The Shemford group plans to invest Rs.1,500 crore to expand its network of schools, which teach from classes I through XII, in India and other parts of Asia. The group, which runs 15 schools in India, says it will open another 100 schools over the next four years at a Rs 1,500 crore investment. Each new Shemford school will admit up to 1,500 students.

Indus, Morgan Stanley To Launch Asia Long/Short Fund - Indus Capital Partners, an Asia-focused hedge fund, has joined forces with Morgan Stanley for the launch of a Ucits III fund.

The new Indus PacifiChoice Asia Fund will form part of Morgan Stanley's Ucits umbrella, FundLogic Alternatives, and will be a long/short strategy investing in the Asia Pacific equity markets. (Citywire)

SunEdison To Invest $100M, Eyes PE Funding - US-based SunEdison intends to invest $100 million in solar projects in India. The company is implementing solar projects in Gujarat (25 MW), Rajasthan (5 MW) and Uttar Pradesh (1 MW), and hopes to be active in many other States. One KW of equipment costs around $3,500 (Rs 1.5 lakh) and would produce 1,500 to 1,800 units of electricity a year. A private equity deal to fund the projects could be struck in about three months. (HinduBusinessLine)

Amtek Forms JV With South Korean Auto Firm - Automotive components maker Amtek Auto has formed a joint venture with South Korean automaker Autech Corporation to manufacture vehicles for defence, para-medical , fire fighting and waste management sectors to capitalise on the booming demand for specialised vehicles. The Delhi-based company will set up an assembly facility at Daruhera in Haryana with an initial capacity of 10,000 units per year. (Economic Times)

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