NSR Private Equity May Invest Rs 110 Crore in Popular Vehicles – New Silk Route (NSR) private equity is likely to invest about Rs 110 crore in Kochi-based Popular Vehicles and Services, one of Maruti Udyog’s largest dealerships in the country, for a significant minority stake. The deal will happen in a newly-carved out entity where the after sale service and spare parts businesses are parked. the company’s fund raising is geared towards expanding its exclusive Maruti service network. Popular has around 22 after-sale service centres at present, with significant growth planned in this vertical over the next three years. NSR will hold in excess of 26% stake in the carved out firm. However, foreign capital is barred in the automobile dealership operations, as it comes under the retail sector where foreign direct investment (FDI) is not allowed. (The Economic Times)
Aptech in JV with Brazil’s Falgo Group – IT training solutions provider, Aptech Ltd has entered into a 51:49 joint venture with the Falgo group to set up IT training centres in that country. Latin America is pne of the prime focus areas for Aptech and the company plan to tap the market through Brazil, where it has entered into a JV with the Falgo group. The investment in the Brazilian venture is pegged at $1 million. The company aims to have around 100 centres in LatAm in the next three to four years. After Brazil, the company plans to enter Mexico and Chile. The first centre in Brazil will be set up by August. (The Economic Times)
JSL Seeks More Time to Buy Back FCCBs – Steel major Jindal Stainless is planning to ask its overseas bondholders for rescheduling the outstanding amount on its foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs) that is due in December, as it expects repayment of the bonds to be a challenge. India’s largest stainless steel company, which has to repay about $24 million (about Rs 120 crore) by December this year to buy back the bonds that were raised in 2004, would look at extending the payment tenure as an option, and take a decision on the issue within a month. The bonds are currently trading at a discount of about 50-55 cents to a dollar. (The Economic Times)
IFC to Invest $1 Billion in Indian Companies – The World Bank’s private sector lending arm, IFC, has said it will invest $1 billion in Indian companies during its financial year beginning June 2009. IFC’s focus would be on projects in the infrastructure sector, including power, roads and ports and clean technology schemes. Besides the regular operations, the two IFC-supported funds will pick up equity worth $1.7 billion (Rs 8,500 crore) in infrastructure projects. The move is expected to help the economy arrest the impact of global financial meltdown. (The Economic Times)
JSW Energy to Acquire Sub-Saharan African Thermal Coal Mine – Sajjan Jindal-led JSW Energy is close to acquiring a sub-Saharan African thermal coal mine, which has reserves of more than 200 million tonnes, to minimise dependence on other overseas companies. The deal size is expected to be between $70 and $100 million (Rs 350-500 crore) depending on the quality of coal and how far the mine is from the port. The acquisition, if successful, would be funded through a mix of internal accruals and debt. (The Economic Times)
Carrefour Looks Beyond Future Group for Deal – After months of inconclusive talks with India’s largest retailer, Future Group, France’s Carrefour SA has cast its net wider. The world’s second largest retailer by revenue has held discussions with Reliance Retail Ltd, as also Aditya Birla Retail Ltd and Spencer’s Retail Ltd, for a possible partnership. Carrefour and Reliance Retail are reportedly working out the details and are likely to announce the deal over the next few months. Carrefour is seeking a partnership with Indian retailers to supply them merchandise from its planned cash-and-carry or wholesale stores. (LiveMint.com)
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