News Roundup: Dalian Wanda eyes Indian multiplexes and other stories
Photo Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle

Chinese firm Dalian Wanda Group, led by billionaire chairman Wang Jianlin, has initiated talks with Indian multiplex owners to acquire assets as it looks to enter the India market.

Dalian Wanda is in talks with companies including PVR Ltd and Carnival Cinemas Ltd, reports the Mint. If it clinches a deal, it will become the second large global cinema exhibitor after Mexico's Cineplois de Mexico SA to enter India.

PVR is the biggest multiplex chain in India with 516 screens, followed by Inox Leisure Ltd with 420 screens and Carnival Cinemas with 341 screens. Cinepolis entered India in 2009 and operates 215 screens.

Flight Centre Travel in talks to buy controlling stake in Travel Tours

Australia’s Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) is looking to acquire a controlling stake in Travel Tours, one of South India's biggest holiday makers, to expand its footprint in the country.

Travel Tours promoter Sharavan Gupta owns an 87% stake in the company and will continue to retain a significant minority stake and manage the business, reports The Times of India.

FCTG had entered India in 2007 through the acquisition of Friends Globe Travels, which was subsequently renamed FCm Travel Solutions.

The Bengaluru-based Travel Tours is one of the largest marketing agents of international brands such as Globus, Star Cruises, Avalon Waterways and Rail Europe, among others. The company reported Rs 700-crore gross revenue last fiscal year.

Taparia family eyeing controlling stake in Guardian Lifecare

Ashutosh Taparia, whose family sold contraceptive maker Famy Care to Mylan for $800 million, is in advanced talks to acquire Gurgaon-based pharmacy chain Guardian Lifecare.

Taparia is likely to buy the shares held by private equity investor Samara Capital and Japan’s Mitsui, reports The Times of India. Guardian Lifecare founder Ashutosh Garg will retain a minority interest and continue to manage the company, it said.

The deal, if it happens, is likely to resolve a legal dispute between Garg and Samara Capital, which had come as an investor in the company in 2008. Guardian Lifecare operates 310 stores and is learnt to be the third-largest medicine retailer after Apollo and Medplus.

SBI Life Insurance to float IPO

SBI Life Insurance, a joint venture between State Bank of India and BNP Paribas Cardif, has decided to float its initial public offering.

The insurer could announce its IPO plans by the end of the current financial year, reports Business Standard.

The valuation would be based on the performance in 2015-16, SBI Life Managing Director and CEO Arijit Basu said in the report.

The report also said that BNP Paribas Cardif is looking to raise its stake in the insurer to 36% from 26% before September 2016.

SBI Life posted a net profit of Rs 861 crore in 2015-16, up 5% from Rs 820 crore in 2014-15.

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