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News Roundup: FIPB Defers Vodafone Stake Sale

22 October, 2009

Government Wants 3G Auction By December – In a letter to the communications minister A Raja, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said the government does not want any further delay in auctioning licences for 3G telecom services. The government wants the auction to happen in any circumstances by the end of this calendar year. Mukherjee urged Raja to quickly resolve all outstanding issues to ensure that the auction process is held on schedule in December this year. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) last month planned to delay the auction to June next year because the defence services were unlikely to vacate the spectrum bands by the time as promised earlier. ()

RPG Cables To Rope In Strategic Investor – RP Goenka-promoted RPG Cables is planning to bring in a new strategic investor as part of its plan to raise about Rs 200 crore to clean up debts and for erecting a new facility in Gujarat. The company is in talks with multiple players to raise funds. Deutsche Bank had picked up a 14.9% stake in the company two years earlier for about Rs 28 crore. The bank also gave a Rs 100 crore loan to reduce debts, which had piled up to Rs 300 crore. RPG Group holds 33.42% stake in the company. ()

United Spirits Raises Rs 1,615 Cr In QIP – Vijay Mallya led liquor major United Spirits Ltd has raised Rs 1,615.60 crore by private placement of shares with qualified institutional buyers. The company plans to utilise the net proceeds to repay debt. It has debt of Rs 6,500 crore, which it took partly to fund the acquisition of scotch whisky maker Whyte & Mackay. It aims to cut this to Rs 4,000 crore by the end of March 2010. ()

FIPB Defers Vodafone Stake Sale – The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) has deferred stake sale in Vodafone by Max India’s Analjit Singh and former Vodafone Essar CEO Asim Ghosh, as the finance ministry is of the view that the proposal could be interpreted as “treaty shopping”. The finance ministry also wants other ministries — Commerce and DoT — to give a “reasoned recommendation” rather than just a “no objection”. Singh and Ghosh had sought to sell 49% each of their holdings in two investment companies that indirectly own stake in Vodafone Essar. While Singh wants to divest in Scorpio Beverages, Asim Ghosh had applied for offloading stake in AG Mercantile. (DNA)

Renault May Look For New India Partner – French auto major Renault SA said the company may look for other partners to drive its products in India, if the things didn’t work out with current JV. Renault has earlier formed a joint venture called Mahindra Renault Pvt Ltd with Mahindra & Mahindra for India operation. Renault has a 49% stake in the venture. The company also has an alliance with Bajaj Auto for a small car project and with Ashok Leyland through its subsidiary Nissan for light commercial vehicles. (DNA)

FIPB Defers Verizon’s Equity Transfer – Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) has deferred proposal for transfer of equity shares of Verizon Communications India Pvt Ltd, on the condition whether the US-based Verizon Wireless operates in Pakistan. The India arm has applied to FIPB for transfer of equity shares in itself held by one non-resident shareholder group entity to another. Verizon Asia Pacific Holdings Ltd wishes to transfer 1,000 equity shares in Verizon India to Verizon European Holdings Ltd, UK, as part of a group restructuring. ()

Govt Asks IDBI To Review Mortgage Arm Sale – The finance ministry has asked public sector lender IDBI Bank to explore other options before finalising plans to sell its mortgage finance arm, IDBI Home Finance (IHFL). The ministry had noted three options to IDBI Bank on its mortgage financing arm. While one was to merge IHFL with itself, the second was to sell the mortgage company and finally to periodically purchase the portfolio of IHFL to free capital for further business. This would be in line with the model followed by ICICI Bank for its subsidiary, ICICI Home Finance. ()

SBI To Start Merger Talks With State Bank of Indore – The finance ministry has approved public sector lender State Bank of India (SBI) to inititate talks with its subsidiary, State Bank of Indore, for possible merger with itself. SBI has argued that the merger will help avoid duplication and also benefit the employees of State Bank of Indore. Last year, SBI had merged State Bank of Saurashtra with itself. It would submit a formal proposal to the Reserve Bank of India for completing the merger process soon. (BS)

 


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News Roundup: FIPB Defers Vodafone Stake Sale

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