Nusli Wadia-owned biscuits major Britannia Industries is running a process to sell its bakery foods subsidiary Daily Bread four years after acquiring the gourmet retailer, said two people directly involved in the development. Daily Bread has a network of 31 stores and cafes across Bangalore, Hyderabad and Goa selling European-styled specialty breads, cakes, pastries, muffins and salads. Britannia under the leadership of Vinita Bali bought Daily Bread as part of a diversification plan in 2009. The exit coincides with new COO Varun Berry cranking up the engine to deliver faster growth in core FMCG business. (Times of India)
Persistent plans to sell e-comm business, Klisma: India’s leading customer loyalty programme manager Payback, a part of American Express Group, and NASDAQ-listed Overstock.com have had early discussions to acquire Pune-based corporate e-commerce firm Klisma, incubated by IT services major Persistent Systems, said people directly aware of the matter. Persistent holds a 50% stake in the three-year-old Klisma, while Founder Ajay Aggarwal owns the remaining stake in the company that works with over 70 corporates, mostly technology companies covering about three lakh employees. (Times of India)
NHAI nod to L&T’s Singapore plans, co to list six toll road projects: The National Highways Authority of India board has approved engineering and construction firm L&T’s plans to set up a business trust in Singapore and list six toll road projects on the Singapore stock exchange that could raise up to $1 billion (Rs 4,401 crore). The business trust will be set by the firm’s subsidiary L&T Infra Development Projects Ltd (IDPL) and the parent company can offload its equity in these six road projects to the trust. The trust would have to form a special purpose vehicle, which will float or issue units to investors on these assets through an initial public offer. The trust will then issue debt instruments in the form of debentures to the SPVs undertaking these highway projects. (Economic Times)
Punj Lloyd plans to divest stake in its non-core assets to halve debt to about Rs 3000 crore: Engineering company Punj Lloyd Ltd. plans to divest stake in its non-core assets, list a subsidiary overseas and chase receivables as part of a plan to halve debt to about Rs 3,000 crore ($667 million) in one year, according to its chairman. Delhi-based Punj Lloyd aims to raise about Rs 650 crore ($144 million) from asset sales and another Rs 700-800 crore (Rs 178 million) from listing of Sembawang Engineers and Constructors Pte Ltd on the Singapore Stock Exchange in 2014. The firm also expects to receive a little over Rs 1,100 crore in a litigation settlement with state-run explorer ONGC this quarter. In addition, the company would dilute about one-fourth equity in the Singapore subsidiary in 2014. (Economic Times)
IFC eyes $400-mn equity investment in India: International Finance Corporation (IFC), the investment arm of World Bank, continues to be bullish on India, and might invest $400 million in equity deals in FY14 in India. The company follows a pattern while making investments in various countries. The equity component of IFC’s investment in a country doesn’t go beyond 25% of its total investment commitment -including loans and other products – for that particular country. The fund invested $1.4 billion in India in FY13, of which $350 million was in the form of equity. (Business Standard)
My Eco Energy entering bio-diesel market: Pune-based My Eco Energy is entering the bio-diesel market and the company plans to manufacture the fuel in three locations across the country, and also retail it. The company is currently in talks to acquire three existing bio-diesel manufacturing units in Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Maharashtra and expects to close the first deal in the next 45 days, Santosh Verma, one of My Eco Energy’s three promoters, said. The firm plans to invest Rs 550 crore ($122 million) for the acquisition, upgrading the facilities and setting up of infrastructure. The funds would be raised through a mix of debt and equity. (Business Line)
Royal Orchid plans to sell Hyderabad property: Royal Orchid Hotels Ltd is planning to sell its hotel property situated at Hyderabad. According to a company release to exchanges, the company is seeking the shareholders’ approval through a postal ballot. The firm is also seeking approval through postal ballot for payment of remuneration to the Managing Director and making of loans/investments/providing guarantee in pursuance of Section 372A of the Companies Act, 1956. (Business Line)
Gulf carrier eyed stake in Air India’s MRO unit: Aviation minister Ajit Singh’s recent observation that Air India could get private suitors despite its poor health may have come from the fact that a leading Gulf carrier reportedly evinced interest in its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) unit some time back. This unit was hived off from AI as a subsidiary with about 7,000 employees and the Gulf carrier was eyeing a stake in it. According to sources, a decision to disinvest in AI or any of its subsidiaries has to first come from the government. (Times of India)
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