Fortis Emerges as Front-Runner to Acquire Stake in Wockhardt Hospitals - Fortis Healthcare has emerged as the front-runner to acquire a substantial stake in the unlisted Wockhardt Hospitals. Fortis' promoters have reached a broad agreement with Wockhardt's founder Habil Khorakiwala on a possible deal to acquire up to 74% in the hospital chain for close to Rs 750 crore, valuing the business at over Rs 1,000 crore. Wockhardt Hospitals is a 100% subsidiary of pharmaceutical company Wockhardt. rivate equity firms General Atlantic and Advent were also in the race, but Fortis is close to clinching the deal, said sources.(The Economic Times)

DIPP to Clear Confusion on Press Note -1 - The department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) would soon come out with a clarification stating Press Note 1 of 2005 would not be applicable in cases where joint ventures involving foreign companies do not exist anymore. Press Note 1 makes it mandatory for a foreign company to get a no-objection certificate from its Indian partner before setting up a new business in the country in the same field. The department is bringing out the clarification to clear confusion among foreign investors as they tend to seek Foreign Investment Promotion Board’s (FIPB’s) approval pertaining to PN-1 even if they have discontinued their partnerships. (The Economic Times)

Suzlon to Buy Martifer Stake - Wind turbine manufacturer Suzlon Energy will use a mix of cash and debt to buy Portuguese company Martifer’s remaining 16.5% stake in Germany’s REpower. The Indian firm had bought close to 6% stake form Martifer for E 65 million in December last year. At present Suzlon owns 74.5% stake in REpower. In December, Suzlon and Martifer entered into a revised payment schedule to buy out the Portuguese firm’s stake, which willgive Suzlon 91% of REpower.  (The Economic Times)

Delhi International Airport Raises Rs 450 Crore - Delhi International Airport (DIAL) has managed to raise over Rs 450 crore as security deposit by giving contracts for building six hotels. The contracts for hotels in various categories are given to different developers, a person familiar with the development said. The company has also raised another Rs 150 crore as development fee, which will be used only for developing facilities around a proposed hospitality district in the vicinity of the airport. The GMR group-led airport company is also in the process of raising debt of about Rs 1,800 crore to fund the first phase of facility expansion ahead of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. DIAL is facing a revenue shortfall of over Rs 2,500 crore. (The Economic Times)

Sahara Takes Jet to Court Over Buyout Deal Issues - The Sahara Group, owner of the erstwhile Air Sahara, which was acquired by Jet Airways in 2007, has taken Jet Airways to court over non-payment of dues worth Rs 1,450 crore. Sources said Sahara filed a case in the Bombay High Court a few days ago on non-payment of dues. According to sources, Jet was to pay Rs 900 crore to Sahara upfront, while Rs 137.5 crore was to be paid in yearly instalments over four years. Jet defaulted on the yearly instalment. Jet’s payout to Sahara in case of a single year’s default could be Rs 550 crore. (Business Standard)

Rain Commodities to Buy Back 4.56 Million Shares - Hyderabad-based cement manufacturer Rain Commodities Limited (RCL) stated that its board has approved buy-back of up to 4.56 million shares accounting for 11.58 per cent of the paid-up equity share capital of the company. The shares would be purchased for a maximum price of Rs 127 per share of Rs 10 each from the open market and for a total amount not exceeding Rs 51.52 crore. The maximum buy-back price is at a premium of 65.9 per cent on the closing price of the company’s shares on the BSE on March 27, the last trading day preceding the date of the board meeting. According to RCL, the proposed buy-back of shares will increase the earnings per share with reduction in outstanding equity shares of the company, improve return on networth and maximise shareholders value. (Business Standard)

Cap Foreign Ownership in Foreign Banks at 74%: CFSA - The Committee on Financial Sector Assessment (CFSA), headed by RBI deputy governor Rakesh Mohan, has proposed that foreign shareholding of foreign banks entering India through the subsidiary route should not exceed 74 per cent and all the regulatory guidelines and norms applicable to private sector banks could also be made applicable to them. The report which was submitted to the Finance Minister last week was released to the public on Monday. It said that the Indian subsidiaries of these banks should be listed in the Indian stock exchanges and the entry of foreign banks needs to be gradual and consistent with the overall financial policy strategy. The RBI’s roadmap for foreign banks is due for a review after March 2009. (Indian Express)


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