Birla Group Looks to Sell Stake in Retail Venture - The Aditya Birla Group, a $29-billion diversified conglomerate that operates in 25 countries, may sell a stake in its loss-making retail venture to private equity firms, as it looks to raise additional funds to scale up its fledgling retail business. Private equity players, such as Warburg Pincus, KKR and Goldman Sachs, are in talks with the group, which operates a retail chain under the More brand. Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla said the group was open to the idea of roping in financial investors. (The Economic Times)

Unitech Sells Saket Office for Rs 450 Crore - India's second-largest real estate firm Unitech has sold its office building in Saket, New Delhi, for around Rs 425-450 crore to an unnamed property investor, following over six months of negotiations with several prospective buyers. Unitech MD Sanjay Chandra said the deal amount is over Rs 500 crore, but didn't disclose the buyer's name. Sources say that the buyer is a Delhi-based industrialist, who plans to lease out spaces in the 2-lakh sq ft building to other companies. The building is ready and was earlier supposed to house Unitech's corporate office, which is currently in Gurgaon. (The Economic Times)

Telenor Completes 49% Stake Purchase In Unitech Wireless - Norway-based Telenor on Wednesday completed the acquisition for a 49% stake in Unitech Wireless as it paid Rs 1,130 crore in the second tranche for a further 15.5% stake in the company. Unitech Wireless on May 19, 2009, received an amount of Rs 1,130 crore in aggregate from Telenor Asia Pte Ltd for acquisition of further 15.5 per cent stake in Unitech Wireless by way of issuance of fresh shares. (The Economic Times)

PE Keen on Buying Knight Riders - Shah Rukh Khan owned IPL team Kolkatta Knight Riders (KKR) has been approached by a  a clutch of private Equity funds including New Silk Route, Actis, Standard Chartered Private Equity and TPG, among others. PE funds have shown interest or have been approached for a possible stake sale in KKR. Mumbai-based investment bank Ambit is among the i-bankers who are advisors to the deal. One possibility being discussed is a stake sale of between 10% and 20% though the banker is said to be exploring other options too. (The Economic Times)

Tata Motors Raises Rs 4,200 Crore - The country’s largest automaker Tata Motors has raised Rs 4,200 crore through the issue of secured non-convertible debentures (NCD) in the local market. The funds raised will be used for part repayment of the $3-billion bridge loan facility taken for acquiring Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) last year. Of this, Tata Motors had earlier pre-paid $1.11 billion. (The Economic Times)

Yash Birla Group buys Melstar Information Tech - Marking its foray into the IT sector, the Rs 3,000-crore Yash Birla Group has acquired Melstar Information Technologies, an application development software services company. The acquisition fits into the group’s plans of exploring new sectors like education, healthcare and IT. Subsequent to this acquisition, the Board of Directors of Melstar has been reconstituted with Yash Birla as Chairman, P V R Murthy and Anoj Menon as Directors and S M Arora as Managing Director. (Business Standard)    

Sobha and HDIL to Take QIP Route - Following the success of Unitech and Indiabulls in raising funds through qualified institutional placements (QIPs), at least two other real estate players are taking the same route, with plans to raise Rs 3,000 crore by June-end. According to the market sources, the Bangalore-based Sobha Developers and Mumbai-based Housing Development and Infrastructure (HDIL) are considering raising funds through QIP. According to sources, HDIL's top management had a meeting on Wednesday afternoon to consider raising around Rs 2000 crore through QIP.  Sobha Developers too is looking at raising around Rs 1000 crore. The decision to go in for a QIP has to be approved the boards of Sobha Developers and HDIL. (The Economic Times)

LIC Plans to Invest Rs 50,000 Crore in Equity - Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India intends to pump in around Rs 1,05,000 crore into non-convertible debentures (NCDs) and equity in the current financial year, nearly 20 per cent more than the Rs 88,000 crore it invested in these instruments in 2008-09. Around Rs 55,000 crore will be invested in NCDs and the remaining Rs 50,000 crore in the stock market. (Business Standard)

Spandana to Raise Rs 300 Crore - Spandana Microfinance, the second-largest MFI in the country, is set to raise Rs 300 crore by diluting a part of its stake to investors by June this year. It is in talks with over two dozen investors and will narrow down on just one or two high profile ones. The company’s valuation could be over Rs 1,800 crore. The proposed equity dilution will be proportionate to the stake-holding of its promoters, and existing investors and will help the company fuel its growth plans. (The Economic Times)

Moser Baer Seeks $100 Million Funding - Moser Baer, which recently secured shareholders’ approval to demerge its entertainment business into a wholly-owned subsidiary, Moser Baer Entertainment, plans to bring in a private equity fund as a minority partner. The investor, who will be offered up to 50% stake, will help the company part fund its planned $100 million, three-year investment to acquire rights to Bollywood and regional movies. The PE fund raising will also bank roll production of movies in Hindi and regional languages, under its own banner. (

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