Global food majors PepsiCo and Mondelez, along with their Indian counterparts ITC and Britannia, have been approached for a large bite of Balaji Wafers - a 37-year-old homegrown wafer, namkeen and savoury brand that dominates the western states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Goa with over 65% market share. Rajkot-headquartered Balaji, run by the Virani family, has recently mandated Ernst & Young (E&Y) to locate an investor. The company and its advisors are in early-stage talks with several FMCG companies as well as a clutch of consumer-focused private equity funds. Confirming the development, Balaji Wafers MD Chandu Virani told ET: "An FMCG company with presence in this category will seek that we offload majority stake and continue to run the company for at least next five years. They would meanwhile continue to buy out leftover stakes until they understand the business completely. There could (also) be PE partners who would buy 25% stake." Even though the promoters are keen to retain a partial stake after selling majority control in the company, most of the potential suitors have made it clear that they would ideally want a 100% stake. Depending on the final valuation, the promoter family too may consider such a proposal, said sources aware of the ongoing discussions. E&Y have valued the company at a significant premium of three-and-a-half times sales at Rs 3,500 crore ($586.2 million). (The Economic Times)

Singapore-based Sembcorp eyes stake in NCC Power Projects: A unit of Sembcorp, which is backed by Singapore's sovereign investor Temasek Holdings, is expected to buy a majority stake in NCC Power Projects for Rs 1,500 crore ($250 million), according to two people with direct knowledge of the negotiations. The deal is expected to be signed in about a month. NCC Power Projects, a joint venture between Hyderabad-based infrastructure firms NCC and Gayatri Projects, is developing a 1,320MW coal-based thermal power project in Andhra's Nellore District. While the talks are for the 55% that NCC owns in the project-which is about half complete now and is expected to be ready by March 2015-there are indications that Gayatri Projects could sell part of the 45% stake it owns, a source said. (The Economic Times)

Infotech eyes buyouts: Infotech Enterprises Ltd., a Hyderabad-based engineering solutions provider, is aggressively looking at acquisition opportunities even as it is cautious on keeping the Rs 609.9-crore ($102.3 million) cash balance (including liquid investments) as buffer to fund internal initiatives to grow its revenues, according to chief operating office and president Krishna Bodanapu. Infotech Enterprises has looked at 127 companies in the last 18 months in the first stage of evaluation. The company declined to draw any time line or quantify the number of companies that the company is looking at to acquire. (Business Standard)

Roselabs Bioscience to raise Rs 100 crore: Pre-filled syringes (PFS) maker Roselabs Bioscience Ltd., a part of the Ahmedabad-based Roselabs Group, is in the process of raising Rs 100 crore ($16.7 million), which it intends to utilise to file more abbreviated new drug applications, develop advanced products like auto-injectors and enter into more therapeutic segments like oncology and newer markets. The company is weighing various fund-raising options, including venture capital and private equity placement and is expecting to close the deal by the third quarter of the current financial year. Roselabs had in November 2012 commercialised its PFS and formulations facility, set up with an investment of Rs 400 crore ($66.9 million) on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. (Business Standard)

Courtesy: VCCEdge

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