Bharti Airtel is in talks with American media and communications giant Liberty Media to sell a stake in its unlisted direct-to-home business, as compulsory digitisation and higher foreign ownership limit drive firms to seek capital and market reach. Bharti informed three private equity firms knocking on its doors that it was keen on selling a larger stake at a higher valuation. These private equity funds were in independent discussions with the company to buy a minority stake in the DTH business, which commands an 18% market share in subscribers. The likes of Temasek, Carlyle, ICICI Venture and American media company Comcast had shown interest in the company so far. The Bharti-Liberty talks are now focused on the American company buying 25% in the DTH unit. (The Economic Times)

Cabinet panel approves stake sale in STC, ITDC: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved selling portions of the Government’s stake in two Central Public Sector Enterprises State Trading Corporation (STC) and India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC). These would fetch around Rs 33 crore ($5.5 million). The Empowered Group of Ministers on disinvestment will now decide the floor price. According to the minimum public shareholding norms announced by the Securities and Exchange Board of India, every listed Central Government-owned company must have a minimum of 10% public shareholding. (Business Line)

Sanofi emerges top bidder for Elder Pharma business: French multinational pharmaceutical company Sanofi has emerged as the highest bidder for the domestic formulation business of Elder Pharma, ahead of Pfizer and Glaxo. Paris-based Sanofi is understood to have bid for all the brands, valuing the Mumbai-based company at Rs 2,500-2,700 crore ($417.5 million - $451 million). Other contenders such as Glaxo have only shown interest in specific brands. The board of the company had approved a proposal on Thursday for "carrying out restructuring of the company's business involving either raising of capital, hiving off of assets or other strategic options and have decided to appoint advisors for this purpose". (The Economic Times)

Exim bank plans to raise Rs 3 bn via bonds: Export-Import Bank of India (EXIM) plans to raise Rs 300 crore ($50.02 million) in three-year bonds with a 1-year, 15-day put/call option at 8.36%, said a source with direct knowledge of the deal. Axis Bank is the sole arranger of the bond sale, said the source.()

ICICI Bank plans to raise $500 million via yen bond in August: ICICI Bank is knocking at Tokyo's door to raise JPY 50 billion which amounts to $500 million at present value. This would be the first pro bond issue by any Indian company in the Samurai market, which means that only professionals can subscribe to it and no retail participation would be allowed. Sources say that the bond could hit the market as early as first week of August and would be issued in tranches. The first tranche amount could be as much as JPY 10 bn or $100.9 million and depending on the investor appetite the amount will be calculated for further tranches. The bond is rated BBB- by S&P and Baa2 by Moody's. (The Economic Times)

SAIL seeks bids to raise at least Rs 10 billion via short-term papers: SAIL has invited bids on Thursday to raise at least Rs 1,000 crore ($166.72 million) through issue of short-term commercial paper, a termsheet showed. The state-run company will issue commercial paper for 162 to 164 days or 343 days. The unsecured bond is rated "CARE A1+" by CARE and FitchA1+(ind) by Fitch. ()

Gammon India to monetise Mumbai property to cut debt: Debt-ridden Gammon India is likely to monetise its 185 acre Dombivali property in Mumbai. The company’s current debt stands at around Rs 3,500 crore ($584.5 million) and aims to cut it by Rs 2,000 crore ($334 million) by asset sale. The corporate debt restructuring (CDR) package , which includes a two-year moratorium plus eight years of repayment schedule, is almost through. (

Courtesy: VCCEdge

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