LN Mittal May Exit OMEL - The LN Mittal group is planning to exit oil and gas exploration projects it was developing jointly with ONGC in Trinidad and Tobago and Kazakhstan, following the global meltdown and crash in oil prices. The Mittal group, which owns world’ largest steel company ArcelorMittal, and India’s state-owned oil and gas major ONGC were to together develop two projects - NCMA-2 block in Trinidad and Tobago and Satpayev block in Kazakhstan under their joint venture ONGC Mittal Energy (OMEL). The Mittals are now planning to exit these blocks. Mittal Investments has confirmed its exit from at least one of the blocks. It has carried out an analysis of the Trinidad project in view of the impact the current economic situation is having on the oil and gas industry, and does not view it to be prudent to continue in the current times. (The Economic Times)

MNCs Start Due Diligence to Buy Wockhardt Animal Health Business - Multinational pharma firms are currently doing a due diligence of Wockhardt's animal healthcare business that has been put on the block. Pfizer and Sanofi-Aventis are reportedly in the race for Wockhardt's animal healthcare business. Wockhardt plans to raise around Rs 150 crore from the sale of the animal healthcare business. The Mumbai-based drug major had approached the corporate debt restructuring cell of ICICI Bank as its debt burden has increased considerably due to forex losses. Wockhardt has put various assets on the block to raise funds to tide over the liquidity crisis. (The Economic Times)

Suven to Raise Funds for Alzheimer Trials - Suven Life Sciences' molecule for Alzheimer's disease will soon enter phase two trials. The Hyderabad-based contract research company is in the process of raising funds for the trials through a combination of debt, equity and strategic partner. The phase two trials will cost the company $20 million. The strategic partner could be either a private equity (PE) player or a pharmaceutical company that wants to in-license the molecule later. The company is expected to announce a strategic partner in the next six months when the company will commence the phase two trials. Typically, phase one trials are done on human beings for the first time on a smaller scale. (The Economic Times)

GoAir’s CEO Badiali Resigns - Low-cost carrier GoAir's CEO Edgardi Badiali has resigned from his post, making it the second incident of resignation of a high-ranking official in the airline in as many months. Last month, GoAir Chief Financial Officer G P Gupta quit the airline to join rival carrier SpiceJet.  According to the company, the Board decided that a change in the senior leadership position was necessary, which has resulted in the departure of CEO Edgardo Badiali and CFO G P Gupta. (The Economic Times)

IBM Pulls Out of Race for Satyam on Lawsuit Fears - Global information technology giant IBM is understood to have finally pulled out of the race for Satyam Computer Services on fears that it could face a spate of class action suits in the US, where it is listed. IBM entered the bidding process last month through a law firm, which is a common practice in the West, but neither denied nor confirmed its interest in acquiring Satyam. Satyam currently faces 13 class action suits by holders of the company’s American Depository Receipts in the US, after Satyam founder Ramalinga Raju confessed to a large-scale accounting fraud on January 7. )

Videocon to Raise Rs 200 Crore via Warrants to BCCL - Consumer electronics company Videocon Industries today said it will raise over Rs 200 crore through issue of warrants on preferential basis to media conglomerate Bennett, Coleman & Company Ltd (BCCL). In a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange Videocon Industries said the board has approved the issuance of over 1,17,65,000 crore warrants, which would be converted into an equal number of equity shares, at a price of Rs 170 a piece, to Bennett, Coleman & Company.Upon conversion, Bennett, Coleman & Co's holding in Videocon Industries would go up to 6.13%. As of the December quarter the media firm held 1.01% in Videocon. ()

CBI Arrests Satyam's Finance VP, 2 Others - The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has made its first arrests in the Satyam Computer Services scam probe. The agency last night took into custody the company’s Vice-President (Finance) G Ramakrishna and two employees in the finance department, D Venkatapathi Raju and Srisailam. The three have been charged with preparing fake monthly bank statements and related documents. The investigating agency would file a formal chargesheet in the case on Thursday. ()

Carnation Forms JV with Variety Group - Carnation, promoted by Maruti Suzuki former managing director Jagdish Khattar, has signed a joint venture with the Variety Group to set up multi-brand auto solution hubs in Andhra Pradesh. Carnation would hold a 51 per cent stake while Variety will hold the remaining. The Hyderabad-based group will invest Rs 40 crore in phases for setting up about 10 auto solution hubs including four in Hyderabad. (Business Standard)

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