Kishore Biyani’s Future Lifestyle Fashion Ltd is buying a 75% stake in the home-grown denim company Spykar Lifestyle for around Rs 100 crore (Rs 16.6 million) in an attempt to shore up its fashion and lifestyle play. Private equity investors behind Spykar, one of the few indigenous denim brands to attain national scale had been looking to exit the company for the last two years. Avigo, an India focused private equity firm, and its co-investor Metmin Holdings together hold 60% stake in Spykar, while the rest is held by the promoter Prasad Pabrekar. Biyani is also pumping in additional capital into the company which will dilute the promoter shareholding, people familiar with the matter said. (The Times of India)
John Distilleries in talks for M&A deals: John Distilleries, maker of leading whisky brand Original Choice, is in discussions with multinationals to explore merger and acquisition deals. Several key foreign liquor companies are keen to consolidate their businesses in India’s liquor industry, which has just a handful of national players, but a multitude of regional players, he said. Gaja Capital Partners, an India-focused private equity firm, has invested Rs 75 crore in John Distilleries and holds up to 40% stake. (Business Line)
Jindal Steel to acquire iron ore mine in W. Africa: Jindal Steel and Power (JSPL) is close to acquiring an iron ore mine in West Africa to secure raw material for its recently commissioned steel plant in Oman and to sell the surplus in the open market. “We are in discussion with a few targets in West African countries like Cameroon, Senegal and Nigeria for an iron ore mine acquisition and hope to clinch a deal in the next three-four months,” a senior company official told PTI. “By July-September, we will be able to seal the deal,” the official said, adding that the mine would have at least 1 billion tonnes of reserves. (The Economic Times)
Sistema JSFC seeks nod to up stake in India unit to 100% : Russian telecom operator Sistema JSFC has sought government approval to raise its stake up to 100% in its Indian unit Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd, becoming the second telco after UK’s Vodafone to move towards fully owning its local venture. Sistema JSFC, together with the Russian federation, holds about 74% in the Indian subsidiary, and the proposal, once approved, will pave the way for the Russians to buy out Indian partner Shyam Telecom, which holds the balance stake. In its application to the foreign investment promotion board (FIPB), Sistema has sought approval to increase foreign equity beyond 74%, though it hasn’t specified the exact amount of equity investment it proposes to bring or the methodology. (The Economic Times)
Opto Circuits to raise up to Rs 1,500 cr: Medical devices manufacturer Opto Circuits (India), under intense pressure due to working capital shortage and high debt levels in the recent past, on Tuesday decided to raise fresh funds of up to Rs 1,500 crore ($250 million). The company intends to do this by issuing securities including Global Depository Receipts (GDRs) or American Depository Receipts (ADRs) convertible into equity shares or any other instruments representing convertible securities. The company’s board of directors, which met here, approved the proposal. It also decided to increase the authorised share capital of the company to Rs 700 crore ($116 million) from the present Rs 300 crore ($50 million). (Business Standard)
Unitus to explore investment in Gujarat start-ups: In a bid to tap the growing start-up scenario in Gujarat, US-based Unitus Seed Fund, operating from Bangalore is on a visit to the state and is exploring around 30 start-ups in the healthcare, education, clean energy and agriculture sectors. The fund will be investing anywhere around Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1.5 crore in each start-up that it zeroes in on for a period of 5-8 years. With a corpus of Rs 7 crore, Unitus Seed Fund intends to make seed-stage venture investments in ‘BoP startups’. (Business Standard)
Bharti Airtel seeks DoT nod to merge broadband business in 4 circles with mobile: Bharti Airtel has sought approval of the telecom department for merging its broadband wireless access (BWA) services in four circles of Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala with its mobile operations in the corresponding service areas. The move comes within a fortnight of the company receiving a nod from the Bombay High court to merge its internet service provider licence with its unified access service permit (UASL). In a letter to the telecom department, Bharti has said that it wished to merge the internet service provider licence of Airtel Broadband Services Pvt Ltd along with the corresponding BWA spectrum with the USAL permits in the four circles. Airtel Broadband Services Pvt Ltd, formerly known as Wireless Business Services Pvt Ltd was a unit of CDMA chipmaker Qualcomm and was fully acquired by Airtel last year. (The Economic Times)
Air India to raise Rs 10,000 cr via tax free bonds, undertakes cost cutting, targets IndiGo, SpiceJet, GoAir: State-owned Air India plans to raise about Rs 10,000 crore ($1.66 billion) by issuing tax free bonds, during FY 2015, to retire its high cost working capital debt, a senior official of the airline told FE on Tuesday. The proposal, which is subject to the approval of the Finance Ministry, is likely to materialise once the new government assumes office, the official said. The national carrier currently has a total debt of about Rs 44,000 crore ($7.3 billion), consisting of aircraft related debt of Rs 22,000 crore ($3.65 billion) and long term working capital debt of Rs 18,000 crore ($2.99 billion). The proposal by the airline to raise a tax free bond is a part of Ministry of Civil Aviation backed Prof. RH Dholakia Committee’s recommendation, which was set up in 2012 to recommend initiatives to cut costs and increase revenue of the airline. ()
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