Essar Group's Aegis is close to acquiring two companies, its chief executive officer Sandip Sen said. While one of the targets will be from Britain, the company did not divulge the geographical location of the other firm, which will be in the non-voice category. The targets are in the areas of finance, accounting or human resources, he said. Only recently, Aegis announced it had agreed to buy Malaysia's Symphony a deal that is expected to close in the next two months. () 

Leela plans to sell 2 hotels for Rs 2k cr to pare debt: In one of the biggest deals in the Indian hospitality industry, sovereign wealth funds of Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Malaysia are vying with each other to acquire two of India's marquee properties. Backed by their cash-rich governments, the funds are in discussions to pick up 74% stake in the Leela Group's Delhi and Chennai hotels for over Rs 2,000 crore ($322 million). The deal, if it goes through, will also mark the entry of sovereign fund investment in the sector. The Leela chain, in which ITC Hotels holds 12% stake, has been in the red for the past several quarters, hit by business slump, competition and demand-supply mismatch. As part of its restructuring, the group has decided to hive off the two properties into a separate entity/ies, with Leela retaining 26% stake and continuing to manage the five-star hotels. (Times of India) 

Payment systems firm Financial Software Services in talks with PEs to raise up to Rs 350 crore: Financial Software Services (FSS), a global payment systems company, is in talks with international private equity funds to raise about $60 million (Rs 350 crore) for growth and expansion. Two persons with knowledge of the development said the existing private equity investors NEA and Jacob Ballas could also offload their stake depending on the valuation. The company is being valued at about $350 million (Rs 2,184 crore). The firm is in talks with buyout funds such as Carlyle, Apax, Blackstone and TPG." PE funds NEA and Jacob Ballas had picked up about 40% stake in the company including Carlyle Group's 34% stake for $60 million in 2009. The deal is expected to be completed by April-May, Mylandla said. () 

NTPC evaluating private power projects for acquisition in 2014: State-run power major NTPC aims to go on an expansion drive by buying out some stranded private generation plants for which it is in talks with the concerned companies. The company will also advertise for the same, asking companies to come forward with their stranded projects, evaluate them one by one and then take a call. The company is also hopeful of finalising these proposals by the end of the calender year. () 

Hindustan Cleanenergy plans IPO; to invest Rs 5,500 cr by 2016: Country's largest private solar power developer Hindustan Cleanenergy plans to hit the capital markets with an IPO this year to unlock value. Hindustan Cleanenergy is a subsidiary of Hindustan Power, which in turn is a group company of homegrown storage devices major Moser Baer. Hindustan Power is privately promoted by the promoters of the Moser Baer group with 33 per cent of the equity being held by private equity firm Blackstone India. () 

Mansion House brandy maker to buy Imperial Spirits: Tilaknagar Industries, maker of Mansion House and Courrier Napoleon brandies, is in the advanced stage of discussion with Tamil Nadu (TN)-based Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL) maker Imperial Spirits. The deal is expected to be in the range of Rs 400 crore ($65 million). is also acquiring the complete IMFL business of BSE-listed IFB Agro Industries Ltd as the board has given approval on February 8. The Kolkata-based IFB sells vodka brand Volga and Blue Lagoon gin, the popular brands in Assam, West Bengal and Odisha. (Business Standard)

USL plans to raise $800 mn from Whyte & Mackay sale: Following the Office of Fair Trading of the UK (OFT)’s directive United Spirits Ltd (USL) would have to sell at least 70% of its scotch whisky subsidiary Whyte & Mackay (W&M), USL has said it is evaluating various options for the move. It is understood USL is planning to raise about $800 million through the sale and is close to appointing bankers for the transaction. Since Diageo struck a deal to buy controlling stake in USL, the two companies have tried to secure all regulatory clearances. Diageo had offered to sell a significant portion of its wholly-owned Whyte & Mackay to allay OFT’s concern related to competition. (Business Standard)

Courtesy: VCCEdge

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