An inter-ministerial panel on disinvestment is scheduled to meet tomorrow to consider 11.36% stake sale in hydel-power generation company NHPC, which could fetch government around INR 2,400 crore ($437.2 million). After the approval of Inter-ministerial Group (IMG), the Department of Disinvestment will float request for proposal ( RFP) for appointment of merchant bankers and legal advisors. The proposed disinvestment of 11.36% would be executed through an offer for sale (OFS) of shares by promoters through stock exchange mechanism. (The Economic Times)

HC clears Vodafone-Indus tower merger: A recent Delhi high court order allowing the merger of Vodafone Essar's tower assets into Indus Towers will finally clear all legal hurdles for the tower company, a joint venture between three private mobile operators Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular originally proposed in 2008. Indus Towers, with about 1.12 lakh units, is in the process of filing with the Register of Companies (RoC). This clears the decks for a possible initial public offering (IPO) for Indus Towers, which has been talked about for some years now but could not have been possible without getting this merger approved by the court. Bharti Airtel and Vodafone each hold 42% stake in the mobile tower company while the rest 16% is held by the Aditya Birla-owned Idea Cellular. An April 18 order gave a go-ahead to the proposed merger of around 30,000 towers that Vodafone India had housed under Vodafone Infrastructure when it acquired new circles in 2008. (The Times Of India)

IDBI offers to sell Stock Holding Corporation of India stake: Public sector lender IDBI Bank that had mounted a bid to merge Stock Holding Corporation of India (SHCIL) with itself has now approached the government, seeking permission to sell its stake in custodial and depository services firm to state-owned non-banking finance company IFCI. The move comes in the wake of the finance ministry is reluctance to allow SHCIL to merge with IDBI Bank. Sources said that IDBI Bank could walk away with a net profit of around INR 400 crore ($72.87 million) if the government allows it to sell its 18% stake to IFCI, which is learnt to have been against the merger proposal. IFCI currently holds a 34% stake in the company and was earlier keen on increasing its holding. There were reports of Life Insurance Corporation of India too showing interest to sell its stake to Blackstone. (The Times Of India)

ONGC may sell stakes in blocks to Shell: State-backed ONGC may sell stakes in its deep-water blocks to energy giant Royal Dutch Shell as part of a broad partnership across both upstream and downstream businesses. Last month’s tie-up followed a similar agreement with Shell in 2006, which did not yield any material outcome. ONGC has 19 deep-water blocks in the country. The government is likely to put shale gas blocks for auction by the end of 2013-14. (DNA)

Essar to ink deal with Chinese cos to tap billion dollar funds for Vadinar products: The Essar group, owned by billionaire brothers Shashi and Ravi Ruia, will sign agreements with a leading Chinese bank and its largest oil and gas producer and distributor. During Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's state visit to India Essar Group flagships Essar Oil and its London listed parent Essar Energy Plc will enter into a multi-level financial agreement with China Development Bank (CDB) and PetroChina Company. On Tuesday, Essar Energy and its locally listed refining subsidiary Essar Oil would sign an agreement with CDB to raise $1 billion (INR 5,489 crore) by way of external commercial borrowings (ECBs) from the Chinese banking system. In return, PetroChina will sign a long-term 'off take' agreement with Essar for 7 to 10 years for a fixed quantum of products linked to the loan amount. (The Economic Times)

World Bank nod for $100-million loan to NHB: The World Bank has approved a concessional loan of $ 100 million (INR 549 crore) for the National Housing Bank (NHB) for the implementation of a low-income housing programme. The loan has been granted under the concessional International Development Association window on a long-term basis for 25 years. The programme would support NHB in refinancing mortgage loans for people in the lower income segments, who need long-term mortgages at affordable rates. This borrowing will be guaranteed by the government. Besides that, NHB has partnered with International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group and others, in setting up India Mortgage Guarantee Corporation which has recently received the licence from the Reserve Bank of India to commence operations. (Business Standard)

Bangalore based mattress maker Peps India in talks to raise 200 crore: The promoters of Bangalore based mattress maker Peps India has begun independent talks with private equity funds New Silk Route, Everstone Capital and Warburg Pincus to raise roughly INR 200 crore ($36.43 million) by selling up to 70% stake in the company. Since it is a majority controlled transaction, even bigger funds are looking at buying a stake. The promoter, who owns 100% stake, has appointed Chennaibased investment bank Spark Capital to scout for buyers. Last year, Peps Industries signed a Memorandum of Understanding to source technology from the US-based Restonic Corporation for 25 years. (The Economic Times)

Courtesy: VCCEdge

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