ICICI In Deal Talks With BoR Promoters - The Tayals, who control Bank of Rajasthan (BoR), have initiated talks with large private sector banks for a possible merger. The promoters of BoR have had preliminary discussions with India’s second-largest lender, ICICI Bank, and a few other banks to explore the possibility. ICICI Bank is willing to pay more than BoR’s present market valuation. The Tayals, however, are exploring all other possibilities and discussing with other players such as Axis Bank and HDFC. (ToI)

StanChart Looks For Anchor Investors - Standard Chartered Plc, the global financial major, has initiated talks with foreign institutional investors as well as domestic banks and mutual funds as part of an effort to place a portion of the IDR with anchor investors ahead of the public float. The investment bankers handling the Indian depository receipt (IDR) issue of StanChart have reportedly met atleast 50 potential anchor investors so far. They are expecting some developments when the capital market regulator clears the bank’s application for IDR. (Mint)

ICICI Venture To Raise Rs 1,000-Cr Domestic Realty Fund - ICICI Venture, the private equity firm promoted by India’s largest private sector lender ICICI Bank, is planning to launch a Rs 1,000-crore domestic real estate fund by the end of this month to invest in residential projects in the country. It plans to close the fund in 6-12 months and invest in top five-seven cities. It was also looking to launch an offshore fund by the end of this year. Very recently, three top honchos of the firm -- Jayanta Banerjee, Anand Vyas and Sunay Mathure -- have put in their papers to start a new PE fund. (BS)

Milestone Capital Invests Rs 20Cr In GM Infra Ventures - Milestone Capital Advisors, the real estate venture capital fund, has picked up 26% stake in GM Infra Ventures, a special purpose vehicle created to develop a commercial hub in the IT corridor near Gachibowli in Hyderabad. The project cost is estimated at Rs 150 crore, out of which about Rs 54 crore will be raised through equity. Milestone Capital has acquired the stake for about Rs 20 crore. (Business Line)

Patni Brothers, General Atlantic To Sell Stake In Patni Computers - Patni brothers, the promoters of software firm Patni Computer Systems, are planning to offload a large chunk of their combined stake in the firm. The private equity firm General Atlantic, which also owns stake in Patni, also plans to sell its entire holding in the software company. Japanese systems integrator NTT Data is likely to buy their stake. The deal would give NTT a significant footprint in India, allowing it to better compete with the likes of IBM and Accenture. (ET)

Lupin To Buy Firms In Latin America - Lupin Ltd, a Mumbai-based drug manufacturer, is planning to acquire firms in new geographies. The company is planning to enter the Latin American market to tap the $40-billion pharma market there. It has earlier acquired firms in Japan, Germany, South Africa, Australia, and Philippines. The firm says it has seen robust growth in key markets like the US, India and Japan in the last quarter. (DNA)

Ziscosteel Rejects JSPL’s Bid For Buy -  The Naveen Jindal-led Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (JSPL), which had attempted to acquire the Zimbabwe Iron & Steel Company (Ziscosteel), has failed to acquire the firm as the government of Zimbabwe has decided not to sell the ailing company to large corporations. JSPL and Lakshmi Mittal-owned ArcelorMittal were among the main suitors for Ziscosteel, which is 89% owned by the government of Zimbabwe. The government has rejected bid of both the firms and reasoned that the interests of the bidders could overwhelm Ziscosteel and work against the wishes and interests of the country. (BS)

Washington Post To Sell Loss Making Magazine Biz - After sustaining losses for two consecutive years, Washington Post Co has planned to sell its magazine division called Newsweek. Earlier in December, the Newsweek division sold Budget Travel magazine to Fletcher Asset Management for an undisclosed sum. ()

Tara Health Foods Withdraws IPO - Tara Health Foods Ltd, a producer of edible oil and cattle/poultry feed, has withdrawn its initial public offer (IPO) due to poor response from the investors. The issue failed to generate investor interest even after the bidding period was extended with a reduced price band. Earlier in 2008, Emaar MGF and Wockhardt Hospitals have withdrawn their IPO. (BS)

Ingersoll Rand Calls Off Buyback - Ingersoll Rand USA, an air solutions firm, has announced that it will not be proceeding with the buy-back proposal of its Indian arm in which it holds 74% stake. Ingersoll Rand India said its parent has withdrawn the application made to the takeover panel of the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) seeking special exemption from making an open offer. This is the second time the US-based firm has failed. Earlier in 2005, it had made an offer to delist the Indian arm. (BS)

Farmax India To Raise Rs 250Cr Through GDR - Farmax India Ltd, a fast moving consumer goods company, plans to raise Rs 250 crore through global depository receipts (GDR). The company plans to utilise the fund in expansion purposes, besides launching new products. It plans to acquire rice and cereal mills and process houses, and also open exclusive brand outlets to retail its products. (Business Line)

SBI Forms JV For POS Terminals - India’s largest lender the State Bank of India has selected a consortium of Visa International and Elavon as partners for a joint venture, which will set up six lakh point of sales (POS) terminals for registering payments through credit and debit cards. The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. Last year, private sector lender ICICI Bank had sold its POS terminal network to First Data Corporation for $80 million. (ET)

HCC Completes Transaction For KSAG Buy - Hindustan Construction Company Ltd (HCC), a Mumbai-based construction firm, has completed the transaction for acquiring a controlling stake in Karl Steiner AG (KSAG), a realty firm in Switzerland, it informed the stock exchanges.  HCC is acquiring 66% stake in KSAG for $33 million. HCC is an integrated group with businesses across engineering & construction, infrastructure development, real estate and urban development & management. (Team VCC)

BPTP Gets Sebi Nod For Rs 1,500-Cr IPO - BPTP Ltd, a New Delhi-based real estate developer, has received approval from the market regulator Sebi for an initial public offering (IPO). The company plans to raise about Rs 1,500 crore from the IPO. JP Morgan India and IDFC Capital are the book running lead managers to the issue. (Reuters)

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