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News Roundup: Dhoots to Buy Nahata's 36% Stake in Datacom

19 March, 2009

Dhoots to Buy Nahata’s 36% Stake in Datacom – The long-running tussle between the Dhoots of the Videocon Group and Mahendra Nahata of Himachal Futuristic Communications over their telecom joint venture Datacom is nearing an end with Nahata agreeing to sell his 36% stake to the Dhoots for around Rs 1,200-1,300 crore. A settlement will allow the Dhoot family, which owns the remaining 64% stake in the company, to bring in a strategic partner to bankroll the company’s pan-India rollout plans. The deal will also involve HFCL Infotel’s telecom operations in Punjab being merged with Datacom. But Nahata will not get any additional cash consideration for HFCL Infotel, as its over Rs 400-crore debt will be transferred on to the books of Datacom. (The Economic Times)

Maxis Comm to Invest $10 Billion in Aircel – Malaysia’s Maxis Communications Bhd, which owns 74% of Indian mobile operator Aircel, has committed $10 billion for the expansion of its Indian unit. Aircel will expand coverage to 18 of India’s 22 telecom zones in the next few days and coverage will extended to the rest of the country over the next 24 months. Aircel, which had 17.5 million subscribers in February, already operates in 12 telecom circles and holds licences for the remainder. (Reuters)

Triviton and Brandon to Form a JV – Trivitron Healthcare, the Chennai-based medical technology provider, and Brandon Medical, the U.K.-based advanced technology operation theatre lights producer, have entered into a joint venture agreement for setting up a manufacturing facility at Trivitron’s Medical Technology Park in Chennai to make shadow-less lights for use in operation theatres. While Trivitron would have 51% stake in the new company, christened Brandon Trivitron Medical Pvt. Ltd., the balance would be held by Brandon Medical. The company would be manufacturing cold and shadow halogen lights. It also proposed to bring LED lights technology into the country. (The Hindu)

MindTree to Split Business into 5 Units – Bangalore-based IT firm MindTree has decided to restructure its business into five independent business units under different CEOs as it looks to rapidly expand each of these segments. Effective April 1, the proposed restructuring will see the CEOs report to the group CEO. The five units are IT services, product engineering services which include research and development (R&D) and outsource product development (OPD), testing, infrastructure management and technical support (IMTS), and a new area called knowledge services. Currently, MindTree has two business units – IT services contributing 79% in revenues and R&D 21%. (The Economic Times)

DiacriTech Buys US based KPO Firm, LaurelTech – Knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) company DiacriTech recently acquired US-based e-publishing outsourcing firm LaurelTech Integrated Publishing Solutions for an undisclosed amount. Industry sources estimate DiacriTech’s annual business to be in the Rs 20 crore – Rs 30 crore range. LaurelTech is also said to be of a similar size. The company is open to more acquisitions and is scouting for targets in the US and Europe. (The Economic Times)

IDBI Bank to Arrange $1 Billion for Air India Jet Acquisition – Public-sector lender IDBI Bank will lead a consortium in arranging $1 billion needed to bail out national carrier Air India. The state-owned airline has been struggling to arrange funds for acquiring Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft, the order for which has already been placed with Airbus Industries. Banking sources said IDBI Bank, along with another banks, was syndicating the loan. The move came after Air India failed to get funding interest from European commercial banks despite the loan carrying sovereign guarantees. According to sources, the tenure of the loan is expected to be 10-12 years and the interest rate in the band of 12%- 15%. (Business Standard)

Ponty Chadha to manage UP Government’s Liquor Business – Just weeks ahead of general elections, the Mayawati government has asked Ponty Chadha aka Gurdeep Singh to manage the liquor business on its behalf, a first for the country. The 55-year-old businessman has been handed the reins of the wholesale liquor business in UP as well as control of retail vends in several districts. This means that the Ponty Chadha group, estimated to be worth $1.5 billion, will decide what stock to buy, how much and at what price, from both domestic as well as multinational spirits companies. The Chadha group will buy wholesale stock at a discount from the firms and sell to the trade at a margin. The state administration has proposed a special zone consisting the more prosperous urban agglomerations in western Uttar Pradesh – Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad, Moradabad and Meerut – where Ponty Chadha and his associates will also operate retail vends in a joint venturewith UP Co-operative Sugar Mills Federation. (The Economic Times)

Future Group to Raise Rs 400 Crore to Fund Expansion – Future Group plans to raise Rs 300- 40 crore in equity to fund its proposed 2.5 million sqft expansion plan next fiscal. The group needs around Rs 700- 800 crore for the expansion. The internal accrual will amount for Rs 300-400 crore while the rest will be raised in equity. Though the route that will be taken to raise the equity is still not clear, the group may look at private equity or promoters putting in money. (The Economic Times)

China Rejects Coca-Cola’s billion bid to buy Huiyuan Juice Group – China rejected Coca-Cola’s $ 2.5 billion bid to buy a major Chinese fruit juice maker on Wednesday in a closely watched case that stirred nationalist opposition to the sale of a successful homegrown brand to foreigners. Coca-Cola’s purchase of Huiyuan Juice Group was rejected on anti-monopoly grounds. It would have been the largest acquisition of a Chinese company to date. (The Economic Times)

Suzlon to Raise Funds, Exploring PE Options – Windpower major Suzlon Energy is exploring ways to raise finance, including private equity placement, for funding its operations and growth plans. Reports also suggest that the world’s fifth largest wind turbine maker is mulling PE placement through a possible stake sale, to raise finance. (LiveMint.com)

SEBI Proposes to Extend Trading Hours – Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) today proposed to extend trading hours in exchanges to align the domestic bourses with international markets and asked various stakeholders for their opinion. While trading on the Asian bourses commences little ahead of the Indian markets, the European and American markets open much later, SEBIsaid asking various stakeholders for their views on determining optimum market timing, before 10 April. (LiveMint.com)

UTV Looks for a Strategic Partner for UTVi – Within a year of the launch of its English business news channel UTVi, the UTV group has decided to rope in a strategic partner with a significant stake. According to investment banking sources, the company is looking at raising between Rs 100 crore and Rs 125 crore from the strategic partner on a valuation of about Rs 200 crore. The funds are needed to meet losses for the next two years. The channel, which was launched in April 2008, earns around Rs 2 crore a month and incurs an operating monthly cost of Rs 7.25 crore. As a result, its monthly loss is around Rs 5 crore, translating into an annual loss of around Rs 60 crore. The losses are mainly on account of a fall in advertising revenues. (Business Standard)

 


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News Roundup: Dhoots to Buy Nahata's 36% Stake in Datacom

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