Bharti May Exit Mutual fund JV with AXA - Bharti Enterprises is planning to exit its mutual fund joint venture with French major AXA. Bharti AXA Investment Managers is looking to induct a partner from the banking industry to strengthen its distribution capabilities. As a result, Bharti might dilute its stake or exit if necessary at an appropriate time. The decision will not impact Bharti’s two insurance joint ventures with AXA. Bharti holds a 25% stake in the venture through Bharti Ventures while AXA Investment Managers Asia Holdings owns the remaining 75%. The fund had assets under management of Rs 186 crore as of February 2009. (The Economic Times)

PE Deals Likely to Decline in 2009: KPMG - Private equity (PE) transactions in India are likely to witness a significant decline this year as players have become cautious amid the ongoing economic downturn, global consultancy firm KPMG says. According to data provided by consultancy firm Grant Thornton, private equity deals during January-February 2009 stood at 31 with an announced value of $0.54 billion, a significant dip from the previous years. For the corresponding period (January-February) in 2008 and 2007, there were 83 PE deals valued at $2.98 billion and 69 PE deals valued at $2.06 billion respectively. PE players have become cautious on deals primarily because it is difficult to determine the impact that the global meltdown will have on the operating performance of Indian companies over the next 12 months, thus making it difficult to value Indian companies. (

MindTree Rejigs Management Structure - MindTree Limited, a Bangalore-based IT solutions firm, has announced restructuring as part of its aim of becoming a $1 billion (Rs 4,500 crore) organisation from its current top line of around Rs 1,500 crore. The restructuring, effective April 1, includes entering new market segments, setting up new business units and new roles for the senior management. Ashok Soota, chairman & managing director, will assume the role of MindTree’s executive chairman. In his new role, Soota will focus on strategic initiatives and long-term development. He will continue to be chairman of the board of directors. Krishnakumar Natarajan, MindTree’s CEO, will take over as CEO and MD. (Business Standard)

Fortis Healthcare Seeks Govt. Approval for Rs 1,000 Crore Rights Issue - Hospital chain Fortis Healthcare has sought the government’s approval to go ahead with its Rs 1,000 crore rights issue which would allow its existing foreign investors to subscribe to new shares and warrants. In December 2008, the company’s board had decided to come up with a rights issue of equity shares with warrants. There has been speculations that Fortis is in talks to acquire rival firm Wockhardt Hospital and the funds raised through the rights issue may be used to fund the acquisition. But, Fortis Healthcare management has repeatedly denied any talks with Wockhardt and has said that the funds would be used for organic growth plans and restructuring its balance sheet. (The Economic Times)

Sun, Taro Fail to Reach Out of Court Settlement - Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, which is attempting to take over Israel-based Taro Pharmaceuticals, has said that talks for settling merger-related disputes have failed. The out-of-court negotiations had begun on a directive by Israel’s Supreme Court. Sun Pharma Managing Director Dilip Shanghvi and Taro Chairman Barrie Levitt, who were directly involved in the negotiations, would now have to wait for the Supreme Court decision. The promoters had reportedly met in Israel recently to work out a deal. During the earlier discussions, Taro is known to have demanded $15 per share in cash for the a merger. Sun’s tender offer was for $7.75 per share for acquiring all outstanding shares, including those held by the founders. (Business Standard)

BEL and BHEL Sign MoU for Solar JV - Two public sector giants, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore formation of a joint venture company (JVC) for Solar Photo Voltaic business, setting up manufacturing facility for silicon wafer, solar cells and modules and to identify suitable vendors or partners for the supply of raw materials including Poly Silicon for Solar Photo Voltaic business. The JVC, besides export, will cater to Indian solar products requirements. (Business Standard)

Novavax, Cadila Pharmaceuticals Form JV to Develop Vaccines - Novavax Inc has formed a joint venture with Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd. to develop, manufacture and market vaccines, pharmaceuticals and diagnostic products in India. While Cadila will hold 80% stake in the JV, the remaining 20% will be held by Novavax. An approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) is still awaited. As part of the alliance, Cadila will invest around $8 million in the JV over the next 3 years. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Cadila Pharmaceuticals will purchase 12.5 million shares of Novavax's common stock at the market price of $0.88 per share, for an aggregate of $11 million.

BMR Advisors Increases Partner Pool, Takes Total No. of Partners to 27 - BMR Advisors today announced an expansion of its partnership with the admission of four new partners effective April 1, 2009.   Following these admissions, the partnership will comprise 27 partners. Anurag Jain is now a partner in the firm’s direct tax practice and based in New Delhi. Gagan Malik has joined as a partner in the firm’s direct tax practice and will lead the Firm’s office in Singapore. Lav Goyal is a Partner in the Firm’s Risk practice and based in Mumbai.  Mahesh Jaisingh is a partner in the Firm’s Indirect tax practice and based in Bangalore.


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