Max Starts Talks to Sell 23% to New York Life - With the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill awaiting Parliamentary approval, Max India, Analjit Singh’s flagship company, has started discussions on divesting 23 per cent out of its 74 per cent shareholding in Max New York Life Insurance to its foreign partner. Max India may mop up around Rs 3,000 crore from this divestment. The transaction is expected to be completed the transaction in six months, subject to the appropriate changes in the insurance laws. (Business Standard)

Unitech May Issue a Billion Shares - Bolstered by the sharp run-up in its share price after the recent private placement, the country’s second-largest realty firm Unitech has taken shareholders’ approval to issue up to a billion shares to raise more funds. At the current market price of around Rs 87 a share, the company could bring in around Rs 8,500 crore through this route. In addition, the company would raise Rs 1,150 crore through a preferential issue of convertible warrants to promoters at Rs 50 each. Each warrant is convertible into one equity share. (Business Standard)

Jubilant Organosys May Sell Polymer Unit to Cut Debt - Debt-ridden contract manufacturing specialist Jubilant Organosys today said it was evaluating its performance polymers division, a non-core business of the pharma major, for possible divestment. Jubilant had a net debt of Rs 3,480 crore as of May 31, 2009, accrued mainly due to capital expansion and two large acquisitions in the past two years. The plans of Jubilant are to reduce debts by focusing on improved cash flows and effective working capital management, besides divestment of non-core assets. (Business Standard)

PSBs Planning JVs Go for Call Options - Public sector banks (PSBs) with interest in the insurance business are bracing for an increase in the foreign investment ceiling from 26% to 49%. UCO Bank, which expects to strike a deal with a foreign insurance firm and a domestic bank to float an insurance arm by September 2009, can exercise a call option in the agreement, enabling the foreign partner to increase the stake beyond 26%, once the Insurance Act is amended. In the case of SBI’s proposed general insurance venture with the Insurance Australia Group (IAG), there would be a call option and no lock-in period, said sources close to the development. Initially, SBI is supposed to have 74% in this venture. (Business Standard)

DLF Brands to Exit JV with Italian Major Piquadro - DLF Brands is winding up its joint venture with Italian leather and luggage accessories major Piquadro to open a chain of monobrand stores in the country. The development comes even as real estate giant DLF’s retail management is resetting growth strategies following an economic downturn, and reviewing the expansion plans of few international fashion and lifestyle brands it operates locally. The 51:49 JV between Piquadro and DLF Brands was projected to open 16 exclusive stores by 2013. DLF has closed down the first high end Piquadro store opened in New Delhi almost six months back and dismantled an internal team working on it. (The Economic Times)

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