Aditya Birla group-owned Idea Cellular is in discussions with its second-largest shareholder, Axiata of Malaysia, for selling its towers to the Malaysian company, but the deal could get stuck over valuation of assets. Two persons familiar with the development said Idea was looking to divest its 9,400 towers to raise funds for capital expenditure, licence renewals, as well as purchase of airwaves. In the past, Axiata had broached the option of a stock swap deal but Idea prefers to cash out, even at a slightly lower valuation. Merrill Lynch is one of the banks involved in the possible transaction. (The Economic Times)

Glencore, Indian companies interested in $10 billion Rio assets sale: There is speculation in London that commodities giant Glencore Xstrata and global private equity group Blackstone are interested in Rio's Canadian iron ore operations, and that a $US5bn ($5.18 billion) float of diamond assets is more likely than a sale. The NorthParkes copper mine in NSW and thermal coal assets in NSW and Queensland are also on the block as Mr Walsh and his new finance boss Chris Lynch try to make a better fist of asset sales. Glencore and Blackstone have been looking at Rio's 59% of Iron Ore of Canada, a stake Rio's books value at $US1.7 billion. India's Hidalco and Vedanta were also in the mix. (The Australian)

Venture capital fund for Dalits now a reality: The venture capital fund proposed by Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DICCI) has finally taken shape with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) clearing the proposal to raise Rs 500 crore ($88.41 million) for 10 years through a close ended fund, styled DICCI SME Fund (DSF). This is Category-I SME Fund and is target to raise Rs 160 crore ($28.29 million) in the first closure. SIDBI has already committed Rs 10 crore while talks with other banks and financial institutions are on. The Varhad Group is the fund manager of DSF. (The Indian Express)

PFC may buy 15% in NCC-Gayatri Plant for Rs 200 crore: State-run Power Finance Corporation is close to sealing its maiden equity deal by buying a stake in the 1,320 mw coal-based power plant owned jointly by Hyderabad-based companies NCC and Gayatri Projects. PFC aims to buy 10-15% stake for Rs 200 crore ($35.36 million) in the NCC-Gayatri project that is being set up at a total cost of Rs 7,000 crore ($1.23 billion) at Krishnapatnam in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh. PFC is already a lender to the project with an exposure of Rs 1,700 crore ($300.6 million) of debt. The NCC-Gayatri project is financed by Rs 5,100 crore of debt and Rs 1,900 crore of equity, of which the two partners have so far invested Rs 750 crore in the equity of the project. (The Economic Times)

Jindal Power, IL&FS keen to partner NMDC for UP power plant: Jindal Power and IL&FS Energy Development Company have individually evinced interest to partner NMDC in setting up a 2X250 MW thermal power plant in Uttar Pradesh at an estimated cost of Rs 2,000 crore ($353.67 million). These two firms have also found to be eligible on technical and financial criteria laid out in the EoI. NMDC had in January invited expression of interest from interested parties to rope in a strategic joint venture partner for the power plant, which would mark its foray into the power sector. As per the EoI, NMDC would offer a minimum of 49% stake and a maximum of up to 74% in the project to the strategic partner for its successful implementation. (The Economic Times)

Aban Offshore plans to raise over Rs 4,500 crore through market instruments to repay debt: Debt-laden offshore drilling and oil field service provider Aban Offshore is planning to raise more than Rs 4,500 crore ($795.76 million) through various market instruments to replace a portion of its expensive debt. The company has a total debt of more than Rs 13,000 crore ($2.29 billion) and has been struggling to repay its debt. The Reji Abraham-promoted company is now looking to raise Rs 2,200 crore ($389 million) through issue of FCCBs and GDRs and is also looking to raise an additional Rs 2,500 crore ($442 million) through issue of shares to qualified institutional buyers. (The Economic Times)

Papa John's franchisee Om Pizzas and Eats is in talks to mop up $25 million: Om Pizzas and Eats, the Indian franchisee of international pizza chain Papa John's, is in talks with investors to raise around $25 million (about Rs 142 crore) in equity funding. Existing investor TVS Capital, which owns about 80% of the company, would continue to remain invested. It is spearheading the capital raise, but would not be participating in this round. TVS had invested in Om Pizzas and Eats from its first fund, which is now fully exhausted. The company is in advanced discussions with four potential investors, including private equity funds and strategic investors, and expects to clinch the deal within a month. (The Economic Times)

NYSE Euronext plans to sell over Rs 200 crore stake in MCX: Global exchange giant NYSE Euronext is considering a fresh bid to sell its nearly 5% stake in India's premier commodity bourse MCX, after an earlier attempt failed in March this year. NYSE Euronext, which runs leading bourses in the US and Europe, holds 4.79% stake in Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) and its stake is currently valued at over Rs 200 crore ($35.36 million). According to the investment banking sources, NYSE Euronext will soon make a fresh attempt to sell its MCX stake, either in part or full, depending on the market conditions. The sale would most probably carried out through an open market transaction and would be part of NYSE Euronext's stated objective to monetise non-strategic assets across the world. (Business Standard)

AMD Industries plans to sell stake in its subsidiary: AMD Industries Ltd. is looking to sell in part or whole of the investment, held by the company in equity shares of its subsidiary, AMD Estate and Developers Pvt. Ltd. The company has already received the approval from its board for the proposed sale. (BSE)

Courtesy: VCCEdge

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