KKR May Buy 47% In Deccan Chargers – Deccan Chargers – the Hyderabad franchisee of the Indian Premier League (IPL) – is in advanced stages of discussions with the private equity fund – KKR, for divesting a less than 50% stake. KKR has submitted the bid for buying about 47% stake in the Deccan Chronicle sponsored team at a valuation of about Rs 100 cr. If this deal goes through, it will be the first time that an IPL team will be getting PE funding. This will also be the first instance of an Indian sport team getting PE investment.
Bharti, AXA Plan PE Fund In Their Fifth JV – Sunil Mittal’s Bharti Enterprises and French insurance firm AXA are in talks to form a JV for launch of a private equity fund in India. The details of the shareholding pattern of the two partners in the JV and the promoters’ investments in the fund have not been detailed. Once operational, this will be the fifth JV between Bharti and Axa. Their other joint ventures include a 74:26 JV for life insurance and a similar JV for general insurance. In another news, Sunil Mittal unveiled a new logo (its third since 1995) and brand identity for Bharti group, along with a new strategic vision, and said that Bharti will achieve $10 bn revenues by next year.
Ashok Amritraj Enters Into $250 Mn Deal With UAE Production House – Hollywood producer Ashok Amritraj and UAE-based film production house Imagenation Abu Dhabi have a $250 mn deal to develop, produce and distribute feature films. Together, Amritraj’s Hyde Park Entertainment and Imgenation Abu Dhabi will create 20 films over the next seven years with additional financing for producing local language and cross-cultural films. Ashok, a former Indian tennis player is the young brother of former Indian tennis players Vijay and Anand Amritraj.
Wipro In Talks To Buy Citi’s Tech Arm For $150 Mn – Wipro is believed to be leading the race to buy Citigroup’s wholly owned captive technology and infrastructure outsourcing arm, Citi Technology Services (CTS), formerly called Citos. The deal size estimated to be about $150 mn is likely to be announced by the end of December this year. CTS provides critical technology infrastructure support, development and deployment of strategic software applications in the BFSI domain.
HDIL To Exit Oil & Gas Biz By Selling Stake – Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL), the realty firm, is planning to divest its 51% stake in its subsidiary HDIL Oil & Gas Pvt Ltd. The subsidiary was formed in March with HDIL holding 51% stake and an unnamed foreign promoter holding the rest and in May, HDIL had announced that it is diversifying into oil and gas. The subsidiary had bid for two blocks in the seventh round of the New Exploration and Licensing Policy (NELP-VII) but didn’t bag any.
Diageo May Exit JV With Radico – Spirits maker Diageo is likely to soon exit its 50:50 JV with Radico Khaitan. Though Diageo will keep the JV’s whisky brand Masterstroke, it is seeking alternate growth strategies in India. The two-year-old JV Radico Diageo Distilleries has only one brand, Masterstroke whisky which has a very low market share against its rivals Royal Stag and McDowell’s No1, and the JV is also behind schedule in its business plans.
Sun Direct To Invest Rs 3,000 Cr Over 3 Years – The direct-to-home (DTH) service provider Sun Direct TV, founded by Kalanidhi Maran, will pump in about Rs 3,000 cr over a period of three years beginning next fiscal as part of an expansion drive. The investment is targeted at adding 2 mn subscribers annually over that period. With a 3 mn target for the current fiscal, Sun Direct presently has more than 1.5 mn subscribers.
AmEx India About To Lay Off About 150 Employees – The Indian unit of American Express (AmEx) is likely to cut about 120 to 150 jobs in its finance and accounting back-office functions in the country. The Gurgaon-based operation known as ‘Financial Centre-East’, employs about 1,200 people for supporting the bank’s businesses globally. Most employees being laid off, are likely to be rehired since AmEx may shift some jobs to India from its global operations.
Wipro Closes Aircel Deal With Subex – Azim Premji-owned Wipro’s India and Middle East arm Wipro Infotech have with Subex Ltd., selecting their platform for revenue assurance and fraud management to close a part of their multi-year $600 mn deal with Aircel. Wipro will use Subex’s revenue assurance solution, MonetaTM, and fraud management solution, NikiraTM, across all Aircel’s proposed 23 circles.
Future Group Forays Into Recruitment & Education – Kishore Biyani’s Future Group has forged a joint venture with Net Employment Services Pvt Ltd (NET HR) to launch Future Education Ltd (FELTD) which will offer recruitment and other HR services, career solutions and career counselling. FELTD is understood to have established a centre at Thane and recruitment for personnel across various levels for the new business venture has already begun one month ago. Someone has already been appointed to head the venture.
Metropolis Plans Radiology Chain Across India – Diagnostic chain Metropolis is planning to set up a radiology referral chain across India, while it is also expanding its pathological diagnostic network to Thailand, Nepal and Bangladesh. For setting up the ‘high-end referral radiology chain,’ Metropolis will explore various options including opening own centres, public-private partnerships and collaboration with multinational as well as domestic entities. Metropolis will explore the option of private equity for funding the capital expenditure which is expected to be about Rs 250 cr since radiology services are highly capital intensive. Each centre can cost a least Rs 20 crore. Metropolis is already managing labs of 30 hospitals.
LIC Invests Rs 15,000 Cr In Big Companies Through NCDs – Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) has invested about Rs 15,000 crore in the past six months in non-convertible debentures (NCDs) of companies including Tata and Birla group companies, L&T and Mahindra & Mahindra, thus rescuing the cash strapped corporates. In the recent past, LIC has invested in over 50 companies with one key criteria being that the company should have a minimum ‘AA’ rating from one of the four approved credit rating agencies. Last month, it invested about Rs 2,200 crore in NCDs issued by four Tata group companies, including Tata Steel and Tata Sons.
Mccann Worldgroup To Introduce TAG In India – The McCann Worldgroup, a part of the Interpublic Group, has decided to bring its new-age communication firm TAG, as its second agency in India. TAG was the Grand Prix winner at this year’s Cannes and is positioned as a creative hot-shop that attempts to go beyond the 30-second commercial.
GPPL To Pump In Rs 260 Cr In Pipavav Port – Gujarat Pipavav Port Limited (GPPL) will invest another Rs 260 cr to dredge 14.5 metre draft and further improve accessibility to the port by entering into a contract with Zinkcon Marine (Singapore) Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Royal Boskalis Westminster. The project is scheduled to be completed by mid-2009.