Gitanjali Gems to Invest $2 Million in JV with Kuwait Optician - Gems and jewellery maker Gitanjali Gems Ltd will jointly invest $2 million with Kuwait-based Hassan's Optician to enter the branded eye-wear segment in India. The investment in the equal joint venture (JV) with Hassan will be made through Gitanjali’s unit Gitanjali Lifestyle. The JV plans to have more than 200 stores in two years across the country. ()

Infosys, IBM Lead Race to Acquire Fidelity’s Indian IT Captive Unit - Infosys and IBM are leading the race for acquiring the Indian IT captive unit of Fidelity Investments, the largest mutual fund company in the world. The deal is expected to involve a $150- $180 million transaction for an assured multi year outsourcing contract. Sources suggest that IBM has offered to pay around $150 million for the unit while Infosys has hinted that it could pay up to $180 million. While Fidelity outsources around $50 million worth of projects to Infosys every year, it is an over $200-million customer for IBM. According to reports, bidders such as Capgemini, Accenture and HP-EDS have dropped out of the race. Tier-II Indian firms such as iGate explored the possibility of bidding, but did not make much advance with Fidelity laying down stiff conditions to enter the race. (The Economic Times)

Intelenet to Acquire Five Assets for Rs 100 Crore - Intelenet Global Solutions, backed by Blackstone, is planning to acquire five assets collectively valued at around Rs 100 crore in the domestic market. Each deal will be structured a an asset purchase involving an upfront payment and committed business for 3-5 years. Inorganic growth strategies have come to the fore owing to slowdown in sales. Intelenet will not raise funds to finance buyouts unless they involve upfront cash payments and take place simultaneously. (The Economic Times)

Setco Enters Into JV with German Company to Set Up Auto Part Unit - Mumbai-based Setco Automotive has tied up with Germany's FTE to invest Rs. 100 crore for a greenfield project at Kalol in Panchmahals district. Setco has 51 per cent equity in the joint venture, while rest is with FTE of Germany. The company intends to set up a facility to manufacture clutch actuation systems. Initially, the parts will be imported and assembled here. Later on, the clutch actuation systems will be manufactured at the Kalol plant. Setco has also proposed to invest around Rs. 50 crore for modernization and expansion of its existing Plant at Kalol near Vadodara. (Business Standard)

Andhra Govt. Not to Abandon Land Allotted to Satyam for SEZ - The Andhra government has clarified that it is not canceling the land allotted to Satyam Computer Services Ltd for the proposed special economic zone (SEZ) in Visakhapatnam. If the state government had cancelled the land allotted to the company, which is under probe after its founder confessed to manipulating accounts, the SEZ would have probably been scrapped. Last week, reports of the state government taking the land back had surfaced post the allegations that the land was allotted in an unfair manner. (Business Standard)

IIFCL to Extend $500-Million Loan to Sasan - IIFCL (UK) Ltd, a subsidiary of India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL), will extend a $500-million loan to Sasan ultra mega power project. The 4,000-Mw power project, being developed by Reliance Power, a part of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, is expected to achieve financial closure within next few weeks. The loan was one of the nine projects worth $900 million sanctioned by the overseas arm of IIFCL. (Business Standard)

Lazard Sells 5.3% of Satyam’s Shares - Lazard Asset Management LLC has sold 35.74 million shares of Satyam Computer Services, accounting for 5.3 per cent equity of the company. The shares belonging to the clients of the asset management company were sold in the open market on January 15. following Satyam founder Ramalinga Raju’s confessions to accounting fraud on January 7, Lazard had acquired 3.4 million shares of Satyam. However, foreign investors Aberdeen and Swiss Finance Corporation sold their entire shareholding in the company. (Business Standard)

CTE Terminates Acquisition Agreement with Protégé - Cambridge Technology Enterprises Ltd (CTE), a global IT services provider has terminated a definitive agreement it had entered into September last year with Protégé Software Services. Protégé is a provider of professional services and solutions for enterprises utilizing Oracle’s suite of products and technologies, to consummate acquisition. The decision was taken mutually mainly because of adverse market condition. The approval is pending from Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB-Unit) to acquire 100 per cent shares of the said company. (Business Standard)

Da Milano and Pavers Foresight Smart Ventures Enter Into 50:50 JV - Delhi-based leather accessory brand Da Milano has formed a 50:50 joint venture with Pavers Foresight Smart Ventures to retail international fashion footwear brand Staccato in India. Pavers Foresight Smart Ventures is an equal equity JV between UK-based footwear retailer Pavers and the London-based diversified group Foresight. Hong Kong-based Staccato is a decade-old brand that deals in men's and women's footwear. Initially only women’s range would be sold in India, though later, men’s range would also be introduced. (The Economic Times)

Foreign Ownership Rules in Real Estate May Be Changed - The union government is planning to change the foreign ownership rules in the real estate sector by scaling down the minimum area requirements for residential and commercial projects that have overseas investment. According to the current foreign direct investment (FDI) norms, the minimum area for serviced housing plots with such overseas ownership is 25 acres and, construction development projects require a built-up area of at least 50,000 sq. m. The government is considering reducing the mandatory norms to 10 acres and 10,000 sq. m, respectively. The proposal is under discussion stage and has not been sent to the cabinet yet. (

Astonfield to proceed with $4B India energy investment: Building on plans first announced in May of 2008, New York-based Astonfield Renewable Resources today asserted it is proceeding with investing billions of USD into renewable energy projects in India.The company is currently developing two renewable energy projects in West Bengal: a 10 MW biomass plant in Gangarampur, and a 5 MW solar PV plant in Bankura. These projects are to require an investment of approximately USD $15 million and USD $20 million, respectively. The company also says it's in the final stages of discussions for a 54 MW municipal solid waste-to-energy project based in Dhapa. Also now planned are a 3 MW solar PV project in Haryana and 10 MW solar PV project in Karnataka. ( )


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