Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland Clash over JV with John Deere - Strong differences have arisen between Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland, the country’s two largest commercial vehicle makers, over a joint venture involving construction equipment and tractor manufacturer John Deere. Tata Motors subsidiary Telco Construction Equipment Company Ltd (Telcon) has opposed a proposal to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) from John Deere for a joint venture with Ashok Leyland to distribute and market its construction equipment in India. Telcon, a 60:40 joint venture between Tata Motors and Japan’s Hitachi Construction Machinery, held a technology licence agreement with John Deere to manufacture loaders. It has refused to give the US company the no-objection certificate it requires under India’s foreign direct investment guidelines (called Press Note 1) to allow it to set up a joint venture with Ashok Leyland, on grounds that the new company is in the same or allied field. (Business Standard)

Accor Consolidates India Operations - Europe based hospitality and services major Accor SA on Tuesday announced that it consolidating its India operations by acquiring the minority stake of overseas shareholders, OCS Ltd. This would make Accor services a 100% subsidiary of Accor SA Group, France. Accor Radhakrishna Corporate Services is also being rechristened as Accor Services India. The full ownership of the Indian operations will help Accor Services strengthen its position in Indian markets. In India, Accor has SA has acquires Royal Images Direct Marketing and Surf, both leading providers of employee incentives and loyalty solutions. (The Economic Times)

Spicejet Re-jigs Top Management, On a CFO Hunt - Spicejet, the Delhi-based low-cost carrier, is witnessing some changes at its top-management level. The company has appointed GoAir CFO GP Gupta as its chief administrative officer. It has also entrusted search firm Spanco Steward with the task of finding a CFO and a human resource head. These positions fell vacant after the former CFO Parthasarathy Basu and VP-HR Surajit Banerjee left the company. SpiceJet has also appointed Shilpa Bhatia as its new VP-corporate sales. She was earlier working with Bird Group. The company will also soon appoint a new marketing head. (The Economic Times)

On Account of Satyam, Global Team to Review PwC’s India Audit - Pricewaterhousecoopers (PwC) plans to bring in partners from its international affiliates to do an independent audit of its clients in India, besides what is being done by its Indian partners. The move is part of the global consulting major’s proposed image-building exercise in the country after its audit arm Price Waterhouse was brought under the scanner for its alleged role in the Satyam fraud. This is the first time that PwC would be conducting such an exercise in India. The move is aimed at preserving its position in the high-stakes India market. (The Economic Times)

Ruia to Go Ahead With Rs.23 Billion Expansion - The Ruia Group will go slow on some of its projects, though group chairman Pawan Kumar Ruia says the global economic crisis has not affected the diversified business house's Rs.23-bn expansion plans. The city-based group, which has interests in infrastructure, electronics, tyre and sugar businesses, said its plan to set up a Rs.4-billion (Rs.400 crore/$78 million) greenfield tyre plant at Chayagaon near Guwahati in Assam may get delayed, but is still on track. 60 acres of land has already been acquired for the project. The project report had been submitted to the banks. The group is now waiting for the loans to get sanctioned. ()

EPFO Asks ICICI Ventures to Pay Subhiksha’s Balance PF Dues - The Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) on Tuesday sent a notice to ICICI Venture demanding it to pay up the balance provident fund dues of Subhiksha employees. EPFO had on the February 20 ordered the discount retail chain to pay up to Rs 1.76 crore due to employees for the June-September 2008 period. ICICI Venture is talking to its lawyers and would draft an appropriate response. It has also said that the properties have to be first attached. Recently, Subhiksha managing director R Subramanian had voluntarily surrendered a sum of Rs 73.87-lakh accumulated in his personal PF account to settle part of the dues. (The Economic Times)


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