GoAir, part of the Nusli Wadia Group, has appointed investment bank JPMorgan to scout for a foreign strategic partner to buy up to 49% in the low-cost passenger carrier. The company is already in talks with three to four overseas airlines from Europe and the Middle East to sell up to 49% stake. The firm is in talks with German carrier Lufthansa and Dubai-based Emirates and Qatar Airways, among others. The Wadia family owns 100% of GoAir. On April 24, Jet Airways, signed an agreement with Abu Dhabi government owned Etihad Airways to sell 24% stake for INR 2,060 crore to pare its debt. (The Times Of India)

Wipro gets Sebi nod on minimum public shareholding norm: Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has approved the proposal of Wipro Ltd. to meet the minimum public shareholding requirement of 25% through a transfer of shares by the promoters to a trust for supporting philanthropy. The so-called “Irrevocable Independent Trust” will have trustees either from public sector banks or public financial institutions. Wipro’s promoter family led by Azim  Premji holds 78.28% in the company. Wipro announced in November that it would separate its non-IT businesses into an unlisted entity, a move which helped reduce Premji’s stake in the company. The company said that any shortfall in meeting the norm would be transferred to the trust. The trust then would sell the shares within two years. JM Financial is advisor on the proposed share transfer. (Live Mint)

ONGC, Shell may enter into a JV to bid for overseas assets: State-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and energy major Shell are exploring the possibility of a strategic tie-up to jointly bid for global oil and gas assets, following up on their discussions for a partnership in India's upstream and downstream sectors. ONGC has been actively looking for partnerships with international firms. Since last year, it has signed memoranda of understanding with ConocoPhillips for cooperation in shale gas and deepwater exploration in eastern India and with Inpex Corp, Japan's largest oil company, for strategic partnership in exploration of hydrocarbons in the KG Basin. Such an alliance would mark Shell's return to the Indian E&P sector after selling its 50% stake in the prolific Barmer block in Rajasthan to Cairn India for $7.5 million. (The Economic Times) 

VLCC to acquire three beauty and wellness companies across South East Asia, Europe: Beauty and slimming services firm VLCC is in talks to acquire controlling stake in three beauty and wellness companies across South East Asia and Europe. The company is close to finalizing the deal with one London-based company and one company in Singapore. The firm is looking to acquire two skin care companies in London and Singapore and to finalise yet another acquisition of a hair saloon chain in South East Asia. The company is also planning to raise funds through Indian capital market in 2014. (The Economic Times)

Tata Group's Indian Hotels Company seeks RBI nod to hive off international operations: Tata Group's hotel arm, Indian Hotels Company (IHCL), has sought the Reserve Bank of India's approval to hive off its international operations into a new company. The company plans to bring all its overseas hotel assets under this step-down holding company, and subsequently raise money by selling up to a 49% stake to foreign investors. IHCL operates over 100 hotels under brands such as Taj and Vivanta across the world. This is the company's second attempt at getting RBI approval for the proposal. The overseas operations include management contracts across the globe and five distinct asset purchases for which IHCL has spent around INR 3,000 crore ($555.8 million) in the past. As on March 31, 2013, IHCL had a consolidated debt of around INR 3,800 crore ($704 million), which, according to analysts, is putting pressure on its balance sheet. (The Economic Times)

Novartis appoints Citigroup as broker for Indian unit share sale: Novartis AG, the promoters of Novartis India Ltd. is planning to reduce stake in the company. Citigroup Capital Markets was appointed as the broker for the proposed share sale to reduce stake in the Indian entity. Earlier, in March Novartis India had announced that Novartis AG intends to reduce its stake in the Indian entity to enable it to meet Sebi guidelines on the minimum public shareholding in the listed companies. Novartis AG had 76.42% stake in the target company. (The Economic Times)

JSW Energy ready for acquisitions: Not being able to expand its power generation capacity due to lack of coal availability, the Sajjan Jindal-promoted JSW Energy is looking to acquire power plants. The company has a war chest ready to start acquiring assets. The firm is looking at power plants with a size of over 1,000 Mw. JSW Energy also plans to use the equity it had planned to invest in its own power plants, which have been put on the backburner. (Business Standard)

The promoters of Trade Wings plans to sell stake: Narayani Hospitality & Academic Institution Pvt. Ltd., the promoter of Trade Wings Ltd. is looking to sell stake in the company. The company has already received the approval from SEBI for the proposed stake sale. The firm could sell 33,000 equity shares and dilution of the aforesaid equity shares will commence from May 10, 2013. (BSE)

Jay Robotics plans to raise $8 million for expansion: Jay Robotics, a multidimensional robotics company, plans to raise $7 million (INR 37.7 crore) to $8 million (INR43.1 crore) through venture capital for its expansion. With development of eight products in education and one in industrial sector, the company is growing at more than 50%. (Business Standard)

Financial Technologies, MCX to exit Dubai Gold and Commodity Exchange: Financial Technologies (FT) and Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX), the promoters of the Dubai Gold and Commodity Exchange (DGCX), would sell their 44% stake in the exchange. The government-owned Dubai Multi Commodity Centre (DMCC), which owns a 51% stake, has the first right of refusal for the 44% holding of the two Indian companies. The FT Group had valued DGCX at over $1 billion in 2007 when it sold a 1 per cent stake in the exchange to its partner DMCC for $12.5 million (around INR 60 crore) nd later another 5% to Passport Capital, a foreign institutional investor. But, according to people familiar with the development, DMCC is seeking a lower valuation compared to 2007. (The Economic Times)

Courtesy: VCCEdge

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