Bharti Airtel is looking to raise up to $1 billion (Rs 6,225 crore) by selling bonds mainly to European investors as India's largest telco seeks to boost its coffers in preparation for upcoming spectrum auctions and for potential acquisitions. The proposed bond issue - Bharti Airtel's third in 2013 - is part of the company's strategy to ready a war chest of $3-4 billion to outbid rivals in the crucial spectrum auctions likely in January, and buy out smaller operators once the consolidation drive in India's telecom industry begins. JPMorgan, Barclays, UBS Investment Bank, Standard Chartered and BNP Paribas - as joint book runners and lead managers for the bond issue. Investor meetings would begin in Europe on November 27.  () 

Essar Energy may soon close talks on $2-b debt refinance: Essar Energy Plc, the London-listed arm of India’s Essar Group, expects to conclude talks on refinancing its $2 billion rupee-denominated debt into dollars in three months, said CEO Sushil Maroo. The company is in talks with Indian and overseas lenders, including Chinese ones. The company has so far refinanced $870 million, which has cut its refinancing costs by $6 million for every $100 million refinanced. Essar had targeted the dollarization of $2 billion of debt by next April. In addition to the refinancing, the company continued to focus on ‘Project Optima Plus’ to add $1.5 a barrel to margins in three years, as well as expanding its presence in fuel retail. (Business Line) 

NHB seeking €100 m from German bank: National Housing Bank is in talks with German Government bank KFW for a second line of credit to support energy-efficient houses. This credit line, for €100 million ($135 million), is in addition to the €50 million already provided by KFW since December 2010. The company has already drawn down €30 million from the first line of credit and the balance will be drawn by March 2014,said R. V. Verma, Chairman and Managing Director. NHB is using this credit to refinance individual home loans for energy-efficient housing units. (Business Line) 

Future Group may exit global joint venture: Kishore Biyani-owned Future Lifestyle Fashions may be planning to exit some of its international joint ventures (JV) but not until it gets the ‘right’ valuation. Celio India, the equal JV between Future Lifestyle Fashions and a French retailer, is hoping to acquire the balance stake of its JV partner. There is already a pre-decided valuation fixed for the JV and would exercise that option as we want to get the right valuation for the business, said Kishore Biyani, Chairman, Future Group. The decision to exit the JV would be taken only next year, after March, as still negotiating with Celio. The company is already negotiating with five companies, which include footwear companies such as Famozi and Coupon stores for minority stakes. (Business Standard) 

Indian Angel Network plans to invest in startups in UK, Singapore: The Indian Angel Network, the country's oldest and largest angel investor network, will now scout for investment opportunities in the United Kingdom and Singapore. The decision to invest in UK and Singapore-based early-stage ventures has been taken to provide companies in its portfolio access to global markets, tap into the Indian diaspora as well as to rope in international investors to participate in domestic startups. IAN has previously invested across geographies, including Sri Lanka, Canada, France and Hong Kong. It has invested over $2.5 million (Rs 15.6 crore) in 10 startups in the island nation, along with Google India managing director Rajan Anandan's early-stage fund Blue Ocean Ventures. ()  

Shell plans to join GAIL's Kakinada LNG project with 30% stake: Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's largest oil company, is likely to take a 30% stake in state-owned GAIL India Ltd's proposed floating liquefied natural gas import terminal project at Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh. Shell last year had announced plans to build a floating LNG of up to 5 million tonnes per annum capacity off Kakinada coast in a JV with Anil Ambani Group firm Reliance Power. But Reliance Power earlier this year exited the project and now Shell has decided to join the GAIL-led project which was announced in 2011. Shell, GAIL and the AP government are talking about the possible equity structure, Sources privy to talks said. Shell, they said, may take 30% stake. Europe's largest LNG importer GDF Suex UK with whom GAIL originally planned the Kakinada terminal will take 26%. The remaining 44% will be held by Andhra Pradesh Gas Distribution Corp Ltd a company jointly promoted by GAIL Gas Ltd and Andhra Pradesh Gas Infrastructure Corp Pvt. Ltd. (Business Standard) 

Essar Energy promoter plans to sell 3.5% stake to meet free float norm: Essar Global Fund Limited (EGFL), the largest shareholder of London-listed Essar Energy, will conduct a private sale of 40-45 million shares, constituting 3% - 3.5%, of the company to meet regulatory requirements in the UK. The company has not yet set a timeline or buyer for the stake, but will have to do so before March 2014. EGFL said that it would only be selling the minimum number of shares that it was required to under rules introduced two years ago by the FTSE Group, a subsidiary of the London Stock Exchange. (Business Line)

Courtesy: VCCEdge

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