French Firm Vivendi Eyes Datacom Stake – Vivendi SA, the French media and telecom company, is in exploratory talks to buy a stake in mobile licence holder Datacom Solutions, owned by the Videocon group. The company officials already held two rounds of talks with Datacom team. Vivendi is eying a majority stake. However, there is no certainty that the deal would happen as many issues have to be agreed upon between them. (ET)
Vishal Retail To Bring In Strategic Investor – Discount retailer Vishal Retail is in talks to bring in a strategic investor to infuse capital in the company and is negotiating with lenders to recast its 7.3-billion-rupee debt. Vishal Retail, which runs a chain of 147 stores across the country, ran into difficulty in late 2008 after it failed to raise equity amid an economic downturn which also hit its sales, leaving it with a huge debt burden. Ram Chandra Agarwal, the founder of Vishal Retail, who holds about 60% stake in the company is willing to dilute his stake and bring in a strategic investor. (Reuters)
3i May Invest More In Soma Enterprises Arm – London-based private equity (PE) firm 3i Group Plc., which has a $1.2 billion India-focused infrastructure fund, is looking to make its second investment in a unit of Soma Enterprises Ltd, an engineering and construction firm that develops and runs highways. 3i has completed due diligence for the investment and Soma has sought approval by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for the same. 3i has already invested $101 million in Soma Enterprises and has a seat on the company’s board. (Mint)
Italy’s Prysmian To Buy 51% Stake In Ravin Cables – Prysmian, an Italian cable manufacturer, has agreed to buy a 51% stake in Pune-based cable maker Ravin Cables for Rs 200 crore in a move which will enable the euro 8 billion company enter the $3-billion Indian market. The Milan-based company will subscribe to fresh shares of Ravin and will also buy some equity from existing shareholders, including the Anil Ambani group and Tano Capital, a global fund manager. Ravin is valued at Rs 400 crore in this transaction. (ET)
Temasek May Invest In GMR Energy – Temasek Holdings, an investment company owned by the government of Singapore, is looking at opportunities to enter the Indian power sector. Indian conglomerate GMR Infrastructure — which has been trying to establish a presence in Singapore’s energy sector and earlier bid for the gencos here — is reportedly in advanced talks with Temasek to raise $150 million by selling shares in its power unit GMR Energy. GMR Energy currently operates three power plants — a 235 MW plant in Mangalore, a 200 MW plant in Chennai, and a 387 MW plant at Vemagiri in Andhra Pradesh. GMR is also in talks with US fund Carlyle, ICICI Bank and IDFC Private Equity for fund raising. (The Malaysian Insider)
Ranbaxy Acquires Biovel Lifesciences – Ranbaxy, a leading drug maker in India, has acquired the products right and manuifacturing facility of Biovel Lifesciences, a Bangalore-based biotech company making typhoid and influenza vaccines, for an undisclosed sum. With this, Ranbaxy enters into the vaccine business as well as in biotherapeutics. Biovel has been working on biotechnology products in segments such as cardiology, endocrinology, oncology, dermatology and gynaecology. (ET)
StanChart Likely To Hike Stake In Stock Broking Arm – Standard Chartered Group is all set to buy out the remaining 25.1% stake of Securities Trading Corporation of India (STCI) in the Indian securities arm — Standard Chartered-STCI Capital Markets Ltd (SCSTCI). The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) has cleared the proposal, and stake buy will be done by Standard Chartered Bank, Mauritius. Currently, the Standard Chartered Group controls 74.9%stake in SCSTCI, which is focused on broking, wealth management and investment banking services. (Business Line)
Mastek Acquired Kognitio’s Data Migration Services – Mastek Ltd, a global IT solutions and services outsourcing provider, has acquired Kognitio’s data migration offering for an undisclosed sum. Kognitio is headquartered in Bracknell, UK and provides data migration and business intelligence solutions including virtual data warehouse appliances. Mastek believes that the acquisition further strengthens its position in data migration space, with a combined technology and methodology in place. (Reuters)
ABG Shipyard Gets Court Nod To Recast WISL – ABG Shipyard, a leading ship builders firm in the country, has received clearance from the Bombay High Court to go ahead with the restructuring of loss-making Western India Shipyard (WISL). The scheme provides options for the long-term restructuring or one-time settlement of the debt of the secured lenders of WISL, along with other matters, including reorganisation of the share capital of WISL. (DNA)
Four Soft Eyes Acquisitions In BPO Space – Four Soft Ltd, a global IT solutions provider for the logistics industry, is likely to take the inorganic route to enter the services segment. The company has informed that it would enter the BPO (business process outsourcing) segment to serve its clients, and has zeroed in on a couple of options. It has done five acquisitions so far, the last one being in 2006, and wants to leverage its network to diversify into the services segment. (Business Line)
GVK Team Gets Seat On BIAL Board – GVK Power & Infra, which has acquired 29% stake in airport operator Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL), has got board representation. GV Krishna Reddy and two others have formally got on to the reconstituted board of BIAL. The airport operator has decided to expand the capacity of airport to 15 million passengers and later to 36 million a year in two stages. (Business Line)
Aqua Logistics Public Issue Opens On Monday – Aqua Logistics, a logistics and supply chain company, has announced that its Rs 150-crore issue will open on January 25. The company has fixed the price band at Rs 220-230, while a discount of Rs 5 to the issue price has been allowed to retail investors. The company will issue approximately 65 lakh shares at the upper end of the price band and 68 lakh shares at the lower end. The proceeds from the issue will be used to purchase specialised power and for expansion and establishment of offices. (Business Line)
Norway Expels ITC From Sovereign Wealth Fund – Norway’s sovereign wealth fund has excluded 17 tobacco producers, including India’s ITC, from its $450 billion portfolio for ethical reasons. The central bank-managed fund follows ethical guidelines set by the government and in the past has excluded companies that produce nuclear arms or cluster munitions, damage the environment or abuse human rights or workers rights. The finance ministry said that the divestment of shares in these companies has now been completed. (DNA)
Advani Hotels Sells 50.99% In Unit To Delta Corp – Advani Hotels & Resorts (India) Ltd said on Wednesday its board approved the sale of 50.99 percent stake in a unit, Advani Pleasure Cruise Co Pvt Ltd, to Delta Corp Ltd. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. (Reuters)
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