Telecom major Bharti Airtel is expected to sell-off mobile towers in Nigeria, biggest revenue generating market for the company in Africa, for about $500 million (Rs 3,082 crore) by April, industry sources said. The company has less than 4,000 mobile towers in the African country. The company, meanwhile, is learnt to be looking at selling off its mobile tower asset in Africa for about $2 billion (Rs 12,331 crore) to pay off its huge debts. The net debt of the company at the end of September 2013 was at Rs 60,877 crore (Rs 9.85 billion). ()
Reckitt Benckiser plans to up stake in healthcare unit: Reckitt Benckiser India plans to buy around 26% stake in its sister firm Reckitt Benckiser Healthcare for Rs 725 crore ($117 million) as part of a move to make the healthcare firm its wholly- owned subsidiary in the long run. Reckitt Benckiser Healthcare sells brands of the erstwhile Paras Pharmaceutical, including Moov pain reliever and anti-cold D’Cold. In 2012, too, RB India had made similar transaction to acquire around 26% stake in the healthcare firm for Rs 725 crore. The investment will help Reckitt ensure better sales synergies between the two Indian units. ()
Essar Looks to buy back US mining company Trinity: The diversified steel-to-shipping Essar Group is in advance negotiations with a consortium of banks to buy back Trinity Coal Corporation a large US mining company the group had already acquired in 2010. This unique reacquisition, once completed, will help Essar win back a strategic asset without large liabilities and at a much-reduced cost. In February last year, Trinity’s lenders led by Credit Agricole, ING Capital and Natixis, had filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition in Lexington Kentuky against Trinity and its affiliate Frasure Creek Mining after the company stopped paying back around $120 million to its lenders. But as part of a restructuring package Essar has proposed to buy back the company from the bankruptcy proceedings. It has also sought the assistance of SBI Caps, the investment banking arm of SBI, to raise $200 million (Rs 1,233 crore) for the reacquisition. The lenders have also agreed to take a substantial write-off of around 50% on the principle amount and settle for a payment of $56 million. ()
Tech Mahindra eyes next buy in financial sector: Tech Mahindra, the IT outsourcing business of India’s $16.2-billion Mahindra group, is close to making a small acquisition in the financial space. “BFSI is the hot area, definitely it will be in BFSI,” a person with knowledge of the development said. The deal will bring Tech Mahindra a niche firm in the Asia Pacific region, the person said. A deal could be announced as early as March, the person said. Tech Mahindra has also been in talks with a clutch of aerospace engineering firms, but is yet to announce a deal there. ()
Jyothy Labs’ Jt MD plans VC investments: Ullas Kamath, the joint MD of publicly-held FMCG major Jyothy Laboratories Limited (JLL), is understood to be eyeing venture investments in a clutch of companies. He is understood to be in the final stages of discussions with a branded food processing company for investment and is also in discussions with a few others. This move by Kamath to look at the FMCG segment for investment comes close after Nikhil Vora, an FMCG analyst with IDFC Securities, recently quit his job to start a venture capital fund focussed on the FMCG segment. ()
Sesa Sterlite is likely to merge Hindustan Zinc with itself: Vedanta group, which is interested in buying the Indian government’s residual stake in Hindustan Zinc (HZL), is likely to merge the company with its India holding company, Sesa Sterlite, in the next financial year. The merger will give Sesa Sterlite, which already has a controlling stake in HZL, access to the latter’s cash and investments worth about Rs 23,635 crore, which it can use to pay off debts Vedanta currently owns 55% stake in Sesa Sterlite, which holds a 65% stake in HZL. (Business Standard)
ADB plans to give $400 mn loan to boost India’s pvt infra investment: Manila based multi-lateral funding agency Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide $400 million (Rs 2,472.4 crore) loan to boost private investment in the infrastructure sector in the country. The ADB and the Government of India today signed an agreement for $400 million first tranche loan under the Accelerating Infrastructure Investment Facility in India (AIIFI) to support the government’s efforts to accelerate infrastructure growth through increased private sector investment. The first tranche of the loan is part of ADB’s $700 million (Rs 4,315 crore) mutli-tranche financing to state-owned India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL). The loan proceeds will be used to advance direct loans for project developers and to take out bank loans. (Business Standard)
Kishore Biyani-led Future Lifestyle set to lap up three fashion brands: Months after divesting its stake in Biba Apparels and AND Designs, the Kishore Biyani-led Future Lifestyle Fashions (FLF) is eying at least three acquisitions in the fashion retail space in north and south India. Officials privy to the plan say that the company has finalised Spykar Lifestyles, Delhi-based premium apparel brand Giovani and women’s fashion clothing line Desi Belle for possible buys. The company is looking at acquisitions in north and south because these regions determine the fashion trends of the country. The firm has acquired 27.50% stake in Resource World Exim, a company engaged in Indo-fusion women’s fashion apparel business under the brand Desi Belle. (Financial Express)
Sequoia may raise $500-600 mn new India fund; plans for $2 bn-plus globally: Sequoia Capital is in the midst of raising three new venture capital funds, Fortune has learned. The total amount raised is expected to top $2 billion (Rs 12,331 crore). The company is expected to raise between $900 million and $1 billion for its sixth fund. It closed its fifth U.S. growth equity fund closed in 2011 on $950 million. Sequoia’s next India fund, which is expected to be capped at between $500 million and $600 million. The firms first China growth equity fund, which also is aiming for between $500 million and $600 million. (Finance Fortune)
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