BCCL Eyes IPO In Two Years – Bennett, Coleman & Co., publisher of the Times of India and Economic Times, plans to grant stock options to employees for the first time in preparation for a possible initial public offering in India in the next two years. The Times of India is the world’s largest broadsheet English daily and the group’s Economic Times is the second- largest financial newspaper. (Bloomberg)
HDFC Realty Exits Bangalore Mall Project – HDFC Property Ventures, the real estate fund of India’s largest mortgage finance company, has sold stake in a mall development joint venture with South-based Nitesh Estates. The stake was bought back by Nitesh Estates which has taken full control of the mall JV after buying out HDFC’s 50% stake. Nitesh’s first 1.5-million-sqft mall, with an estimated project cost of Rs 450 crore. HDFC Realty is exploring exits from several investments spread across Pune, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad. (Times of India)
ICICI Venture Infra Fund May Reach Rs 1,500Cr By April – ICICI Venture (I-Ven), the largest private equity (PE) player in India, is looking to achieve the first closure of its infrastructure fund by raising around Rs 1,500 crore (over $300 million) by April. It has already received Rs 456 crore ($100 million) from domestic investors such as Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India. The fund is targeting a corpus of $750 million. Talks with offshore limited partners (LPs or investors) are on and another $200 million is expected by March-April. (Business Standard)
Woodland Eyes Acquisitions, PE Funding – Aero Club, which owns the Woodland brand, will spend as much as Rs300 crore on buying outdoor footwear retail chains in Australia, Africa, China, the Far East and eastern Europe, funded by the likely sale of a 15% stake to private equity (PE) funds. Woodland had a net profit of Rs65 crore and revenue of Rs600 crore in fiscal 2010. (Mint)
Actis Looks To Exit From Second Fund – Private equity (PE) investor Actis is trying to divest multiple investments it made in India from its second fund, which closed in 2005. The sales were of stakes in portfolio companies are from the second $325 million (Rs.1,479 crore) India fund. Actis is looking to sell stakes are cement maker Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Ltd; Sterling AddLife India Ltd, a regional health care company based in Gujarat; Halonix Ltd, which makes electric bulbs; and auto component company Avtec Ltd. (Mint)
United Nations Pension Fund Eyes India Deals – United Nations is looking to ramp up the India portfolio of its $42 billion pension fund with more investments, especially in private projects in infrastructure and real estate. The members of the investment committee of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF) were in India last week and held a series of meetings with asset management firms here. (Sify)
Cabinet To Review Cairn-Vedanta Deal – Unwilling to take a decision on the $9.6-billion Cairn-Vedanta deal, the petroleum ministry will place the matter before the Cabinet committee on economic affairs in two to three weeks. Though the ostensible reason for CCEA approval is the royalty burden on government-owned Oil & Natural Gas Corporation, it effectively means a corporate deal in the oil sector is being decided upon by the Cabinet. (Business Standard)
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