New Silk Route (NSR) Partners is in talks with the promoters of north Indian restaurant chain, Punjabi By Nature, to acquire a minority stake in the chain. The financial details are not yet known. NSR is in the process of expanding its food and restaurant portfolio with a $100-million investment. Recently, the firm invested INR 200 crore in Bangalore-based quick service restaurant (QSR) chain Adigas Fast Food. (Business Standard)

Gujarat NRE plans to raise $100 million: Gujarat NRE Coke Ltd. is looking to raise up to $100 million (INR 540 crores) by issuing convertible securities overseas. The company would issue securities including foreign currency convertible bonds for an amount not exceeding $ 100 million or INR 550 crore, whichever is higher. The Board had in a meeting in February authorized the company management for issue of FCCBs, not exceeding $60 million. (Business Line)

Aegis looks for Asia, America acquisitions: Aegis Ltd, the Essar group’s business process outsourcing (BPO) arm, plans to acquire a mid-sized company in Asia or the Americas to scale up its global delivery model by having a presence in newer geographies. The BPO has made over 18 acquisitions till date, and is now scouting for potential purchases in countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil, Columbia or even a near-shore market to the US such as Jamaica. The parent company Essar is also looking to raise funds through an initial public offering. (Live Mint)

Medreich seeks valuation to offer exit to Temasek: Bangalore-based Medreich Ltd has mandated investment bank NM Rothschild and Sons Ltd to assess its valuation so that Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd, the Singapore government’s investment arm, can sell its stake in the pharmaceutical company. Besides, both Medreich and some of its promoters are looking to sell stakes in the company. The company is in talks not just private equity firms but also strategic investors. The overall deal could easily be pegged around $250-300 million (INR 1,351 crore – INR 1,621 crore). Temasek invested INR 109 crore in Medreich for a 25% stake in 2005. (Live Mint)

OVL, OIL plan dollar bonds to bag Mozambique asset: Oil and Natural Gas Corporation's (ONGC's) foreign arm, ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL), and Oil India have started talking to bankers abroad to raise dollar bonds for their $5-billion acquisition of a 20% stake in a gas field in Mozambique. The stake would be sold by Anadarko Petroleum and Videocon Industries, operators of the field. OVL has hired Citibank, Deutsche Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland to raise about $1 billion from the foreign market. Though French oil major Total was also interested in the stake, banking sources said the Indian companies were far ahead in the race. For OVL, the Mozambique gas field stake is critical, as its acquisition of an oil field in Kazakhstan is falling apart. US energy giant ConocoPhillips had agreed to sell its 8.4 per cent holding in the Kashagan project to ONGC. However, the Kazakh government, which has a right of first refusal, is ready to exercise an option to step in and buy that stake. (Business Standard)

Carlyle joins the race for Airtel Digital TV stake: With a number of private equity players evincing interest in Bharti Airtel's direct-to-home business (DTH) Airtel Digital TV, competition among bidders for a stake in the DTH arm has intensified. US-based private equity Carlyle is in early-stage discussions with Bharti Airtel to acquire a minority stake in Airtel Digital TV. Other PE majors that are already in the fray include KKR and Bain Capital. Bharti Airtel plans to dilute about 20% stake in its DTH business to raise about $200 million (INR 1,080 crore). Carlyle plans to invest in Airtel DTH through its buyout fund Carlyle Asia Partners. Carlyle is raising $3.5 billion for its fourth buyout fund, Carlyle Asia Partners IV. (Business Standard)

OVL, OIL may buy India energy ticket to Myanmar: The oil and gas sector in Myanmar could soon see dominance by Indian companies. State-run ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) and Oil India Ltd (OIL) are on the lookout for assets in Myanmar, in the ongoing round of international bidding for onshore and offshore oil and gas blocks in that country. According to a list of 59 “prospective bidders” by the ministry of energy in Myanmar, seven Indian companies, including OVL and OIL, are in the race for onshore blocks. Myanmar has put on the block 30 offshore blocks, 11 shallow and 19 deep-sea oil and gas blocks, on a production-sharing basis. Eighteen onshore blocks, too, are up for grabs. The seven Indian players in the shortlist are Cairn India, Prize Petroleum, Jubilant Energy (Kharsang), Jubilant Oil and Gas, Gujarat Natural Resources, OVL and Oil India. (Business Standard)

Peepul Capital eyeing exit from Medall Healthcare: Peepul Capital, the India-focused private equity fund with $700 million of assets under management, is understood to be looking for an exit from Medall Healthcare, the South-India focused diagnostic chain. It is understood that Peepul would aim for a twofold return on its $20 million investment, made in mid-2009. Medall is primarily led by serial entrepreneur Raju Venkatraman, Peepul Capital and Chintalapati Holdings. Investment bankers say the first option will be to exit in favour of another PE fund. (Business Standard)

Happiest Minds plans IPO within six years: Happiest Minds Technologies, the information technology (IT) services star-tup launched by former Mindtree chairman and co-founder Ashok Soota in 2011, aims to sell shares for the first time within the next six years. The company, which currently has 45 clients in the US, the UK, India and Southeast Asia, including five Fortune 500 companies, also planned to touch $100 million in revenue by the time of its IPO. The company managed to raise $45 million within a year from Canaan Partners, Intel Capital and some of its founders, including Soota, who quit Mindtree in March 2011. Last year, Soota sold nearly his entire remaining 3.5% stake in Mindtree to Coffee Day Resorts. (Live Mint)

Courtesy: VCCEdge

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