Japan's leading beverages maker Suntory and Mumbai-based Tilaknagar Industries, which makes Mansion House brandy, are in race to purchase rival Imperial Spirits put on sale by private equity fund Lighthouse Funds, three people with direct knowledge of the development said. The promoters of Imperial Spirits will exit through the deal which values the Coimbatore-based maker of foreign made Indian liquor at $100 million (about Rs 600 crore). Lighthouse Funds, which invested an undisclosed amount in 2008, could get about fourfold returns from the sale, said one of the persons. Suntory, which purchased Jim Beam, one of the largest whisky makers in the North American market, for $13.9 billion, was in talks with domestic liquor maker Radico Khaitan to purchase a 26% stake as part of its plan to enter the world's largest whisky market. (The Economic Times) 

USL board seals $1bn Whyte & Mackay sale: India's largest distiller United Spirits (USL) is said to have finalized the divestment of its scotch whisky unit Whyte & Mackay (W&M) at a board meeting held in Dubai on Wednesday. The sale value, topping $1 billion (Rs 6,099 crore), is expected to be formally announced soon, sources privy to the developments said. USL, now a Diageo-owned company, is expected to sell the entire W&M-assets and brands to one of five shortlisted bidders in a process that is being advised by Standard Chartered Bank and Rothschild. Sources cited earlier said that former W&M owner Vivian Imerman, a consortium led by Lion Capital along with former W&M chief executive John Beard, and strategic buyers including Gruppo Campari, ThaiBev and Russian Standard owned by billionaire Roustam Tariko, are in the fray to buy the world's fourth largest scotch distiller. (The Times of India) 

Sequoia may lead $30m investment in Olacabs: Marquee Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia Capital may lead a $30 million (Rs 183 crore) investment in Olacabs, a taxi service startup founded by two IIT-Bombay graduates, Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, three years ago. Existing investors Matrix Partners and Tiger Global Management will also participate in the latest round of funding, which values the company at over $100 million, said people familiar with the development. (The Times of India) 

YES Bank, L&T Finance independently testing regulatory waters: YES Bank and L&T Finance Holdings are independently testing the regulatory waters on what the Reserve Bank of India's stance could be on a possible merger or a stake purchase by one of the two in the other, said two people familiar with the development. L&T Finance didn't get a bank licence in the latest round that saw just two successful applicants and is keen to convert itself into a bank as that could lower its cost of funds. The company has been positioning itself in the past few years as a full-fledged financial services firm and includes a mutual fund and mortgage lending among its divisions. Kapoor holds a 13.64% stake in YES Bank and Kapur 11.92%. (The Economic Times) 

Ballarpur Industries said to plan $250 million IPO of unit in Singapore: Ballarpur Industries Ltd., the Indian paper maker controlled by Gautam Thapar, plans to raise about $250 million (Rs 1,525 crore) in a Singapore listing of its international operations, said people with knowledge of the matter. The company is working with Deutsche Bank AG on the deal, said the people. The share sale may take place in the second half, they said. In 2011, Ballarpur Industries deferred plans for a $330 million London initial public offering of its unit BILT Paper Plc. (Live Mint) 

Allahabad Bank to raise Rs. 320 cr via QIPs by June-end: City-based Allahabad Bank is likely to finalise details and raise Rs 320 crore ($52 million) through qualified institutional placements (QIP) by June 30 this year. According to Rakesh Sethi, Chairman and Managing Director, Allahabad Bank, a government nod is being awaited after which the QIP process will be taken up. Necessary approvals from the Reserve Bank of India have already been obtained. Allahabad Bank had in December last year obtained shareholders approval for a preferential issue of Rs. 400 crore to the Centre and a Qualified Institutional Placement (QIP) of Rs. 320 crore for shoring up its equity base. (Business Line) 

YES Bank may raise Rs 3k cr: YES Bank is likely to raise up to Rs 3,000 crore ($500 million) of capital to finance expansion and strengthen its capital base. The programme, either through a preferential allotment, private placement or sale of shares to qualified institutional buyers will be launched depending on market conditions. “We had taken permission from our shareholders last year for issuance of $500-million equity and that is the only permission available with us at this moment,” said Rajat Monga, chief financial officer and senior group president (financial markets). The money will also be used to finance the lender's network expansion. (Business Standard) 

mCarbon eyes buys to enter new markets, boost revenue: mCarbon, a mobile value added services provider, is aiming for more than 50% revenue growth over the next three years by increasing partnerships with telcos in Africa and India and possible acquisitions, and by expanding into markets like Indonesia, Vietnam and Latin America.  According to Razdan, mCarbon has a 30% market share of the Indian VAS industry, which the company aims to increase to 50% this fiscal year ending March 31, 2014, a period when it plans to invest 10-15% of total revenue in research and development. “We are looking at working with BSNL and are in talks with them to provide our VAS products," Razdan said. According to Razdan, mCarbon has a 30% market share of the Indian VAS industry, which the company aims to increase to 50% this fiscal year ending March 31, 2014, a period when it plans to invest 10-15% of total revenue in research and development. (The Economic Times)

Courtesy: VCCEdge

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