News Roundup: Armed with RBI nod, Azim Premji to invest in tech companies in China, US

16 March, 2016

Premji Invest, the eponymous family office of Wipro founder Azim Premji, will now invest directly in technology companies in the United States and China after receiving RBI’s approval to do so. The family office, which has a corpus of over Rs 10,000 crore, could potentially set aside nearly a quarter of it for making investments overseas, according to a person familiar with the plans. As part of its plans, Premji Invest has hired Sandesh Patnam, a San Francisco-based investor to lead the technology practice. To date, Premji Invest has backed over 60 companies, including the recent investments in e-commerce (Snapdeal and Myntra). ()  

L&T to take both IT arms public in 2016, says AM Naik: Aiming to become one of the largest technology services providers in the country, engineering major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said it plans to take both its tech subsidiaries public. The company will start the process for listing the two firms – L&T Technology Services and L&T Infotech – from July 2016, group executive chairman AM Naik said while announcing the results here. Meanwhile, Naik added, the company is still considering listing its subsidiary L&T Infrastructure Development Projects (L&T IDPL) on the Singapore Exchange as well as certain road assets of the unit through a business trust in Singapore. () 

PE firm SAIF Partners to make 8 new investments across sectors: The new financial year will see leading private equity firm SAIF Partners significantly ramp up its investment pace in India and plan for more exits through the public market route even as the multi-stage, sector-agnostic investment firm looks to deepen its footprint in the country. The India-and China-focused private equity firm, which manages investments of about $1 billion (Rs 6,000 crore) in the country, will make up to eight new investments, across stages, in fiscal 2015, a significant uptick in activity from financial 2013-14, during which it made four fresh investments. he private equity firm, which returned about $200 million to its limited partners (LPs) last year, making it one of the most successful risk capital investors participating in the country, is also hoping to provide a similar return on capital to its LPs this year. () 

Bharti Airtel to sell Africa towers to kill debt, deal could rake in $3 billion: Bharti Airtel is poised to conclude a much-anticipated deal to sell its towers in Africa in seven days, which could help the world’s fourth-largest telecom operator rake in as much as $3 billion (Rs 1,772 crore) and help reduce debt. The Sunil Mittal-headed company has already shortlisted buyers from among four tower companies Helios Towers Africa, IHS, American Tower Corp and Eaton Towers for the sale, two people familiar with the matter told. “Up to $2 billion of the sale proceeds will be used to retire debt, helping improve the company’s margins and result in higher profit before tax,” one of the people said. The rest will be used for capital expenditure. () 

PEs in race to buy Geometric from Godrej: Shares of mid-cap infotech firm Geometric Ltd have shot up 40% in the past month over speculation the company is being taken over by a clutch of private equity funds. Private equity players, including Apax Partners, had shown interest in Geometric after talks with top infotech companies failed over valuations, bankers said. Bankers said mid-sized infotech and outsourcing companies in India were up for sale as their valuations had improved and bigger companies were undercutting smaller players. They added Geometric was on the block for quite some time but Indian infotech majors did not buy the company after due diligence. (Business Standard) 

RJIL to merge telecom units; seeks DoT nod for gateway: Reliance Jio Infocomm has moved the Bombay High Court on Monday seeking approval for amalgamating its long distance services arm Infotel with itself. It has also approached the Department of Telecom (DoT) for setting up an international Internet services gateway required for connecting with overseas networks. ITL has filed a company scheme petition with the Bombay High Court for seeking approval of amalgamation, RJIL has said in the letter. The company is expected to launch services in the July- September quarter this year. (Business Standard) 

IOB to raise Rs 1,000 cr: The Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) plans to raise a little over Rs 1,000 crore ($169 million) through a Qualified Institutional Placement (QIP), public issue, rights issue, preferential issue. The proposed fund raise is in view of certain expansion plans of the bank, the implementation of Basel III norms, and consequent capital charge and there is a need to increase the capital to further strengthen the Capital Adequacy Ratio, said the management. The bank also said that it will raise around $500 million (Rs 2,954 crore) through medium-term notes (MTN). (Business Standard) 

McNally Bharat plans to raise Rs 250cr, part to repay debt: McNally Bharat Engineering Company Ltd. plans to raise around Rs 250 crore ($42 million) through all options including quantitative institutional placement (QIP) or strategic investor or private placement. The company will decide on the option after talking to different merchant bankers and also with the different strategic investors who has shown strong interest in investing in our company seeing the prospects and seeing the order book and seeing the skill set and opportunities. Out of the fund definitely one portion will go into repaying debts and balance will go to strengthen the working capital availability into the company. (Money Control) 

Prestige Estates to raise around Rs 375 crore through QIP: Prestige Estates Projects Ltd, a Bangalore-based real estate firm, plans to raise around Rs 375 crore ($63 million) through a qualified institutional placement (QIP) by diluting promoters’ stake in the firm. On Monday, the company informed the Bombay Stock Exchange that the board of directors, in a meeting held on 26 May, approved to dilute 5% of promoters’ stake. The promoters have 75% shareholding as of now. (Live Mint) 

Hindustan Dorr-Oliver to raise funds worth Rs 1billion: Hindustan Dorr-Oliver Ltd at its board meeting on May 29 has decided to raise funds by way of issue of securities, including global depository receipts (GDRs) and or American depository receipts (ADRs) convertible into equity shares in one or more tranches in Indian or Foreign Markets. The company would raise funds up to Rs 1 billion ($17 million) subject to the approval of the shareholders and other necessary regulatory approvals. () 

China’s Shanghai Electric Group in talks to buy upto 74% stake in eight power projects of ILFS: ILFS Energy Development Co, which is developing coal- and gas-based power plants with a capacity of about 7,500 mw across the country, has begun talks with Shanghai Electric Group to sell a stake of up to 74% in eight projects, starting with its 4,000 mw power plant at Cuddalore district in Tamil Nadu, a person with direct knowledge of the development said. “The sale will be in various stages starting with 26% and will later end up selling up to 74% with the parent keeping the rest 26%.” The talks are project-specific and will depend on how the ongoing dis-cussions conclude, the person said. The Cuddalore plant, of which the first phase of 600 mw will start before August, needs an investment of Rs 20,000 crore ($3.37 billion) with Rs 6,000 crore ($1.01 billion) as equity. A 74% stake could fetch the company a premium on top of this Rs 6,000 crore ($1.01 billion). (The Economic Times) 

Ess Dee Aluminium plans to raise funds: Ess Dee Aluminium Ltd. is planning to raise Rs 750 crore ($127 million) through qualified institutional placement or American depository receipts or global depository receipts or Foreign currency convertible bonds etc. The company received the approval from its board for the proposed fundraising. (BSE)

Courtesy: VCCEdge

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News Roundup: Armed with RBI nod, Azim Premji to invest in tech companies in China, US

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