Sesa Goa Eyes Control of Brazilian Mine – Sesa Goa, India’s largest iron ore exporter, is exploring options of bidding for the controlling stake in an iron ore mine that has been put on the block by Brazil’s mining exploration company GME4. The mine, owned jointly by geologist Joao Carlos Cavalcanti of GME4 and Banco Opportunity, has reserves of 800 million tonnes and is valued at about $2.4 billion. Sesa Goa, part of LSE-listed Vedanta Resources, has cash reserves of about Rs 4,100 crore and is keen to grow its presence. GME4 is expected to start a global roadshow soon to sell the majority stake in the mine which is located in the north-eastern state of Piaui. Credit Suisse is learnt to be advising GME4 on the sale of stake. (The Economic Times)
Pepsi to Bring Bottling Operations Under Jaipuria Roof – Pepsico India plans to consolidate its bottling operations under one ‘anchor bottler’- Ravi Jaipuria’s RJ Corp in a reversal of its previous strategy of buying out franchisee bottlers, as it looks to focus its energies on marketing and distribution operations. The consolidation has already kicked off, with RJ Corp acquiring PepsiCo’s bottling operations in West Bengal last week. Sources say that the cola major is now considering merging all its 13 bottling plants with RJ Corp or divesting a sizeable stake to the company. (The Economic Times)
Satyam Wants Govt. Support in Its Bids for PSU Projects – Satyam Computer Services, which has found a new owner in Tech Mahindra, will continue to ask the government to support its bids for PSU projects. The firm will continue to request the government to ask PSUs to waive the criteria seeking financial information in its tenders where Satyam is participating. Global auditing firms KPMG and Deloitte are re-stating the company’s accounts. The Company Law Board has extended the deadline for Satyam to file returns and documents, including quarterly financial results up to December 31, 2009. (The Economic Times)
RBI to Keep Eye on Rating Agencies, PE Funds – RBI is likely to keep an eye on rating agencies, which have come under the scanner after the sub-prime crisis. Even bank-floated private equity funds will fall under the regulatory lens. Currently, the three largest private sector banks have their own private equity arms. Even public sector major SBI, along with Australian major Macquarie, has floated an infrastructure fund. RBI has said it would issue norms for banks floating and managing private pools of capital by September 2009, but only after it comes out with a paper on the subject. RBI has said there was a need to review the performance of credit rating agencies for continuation of the accreditation. It has said it would liaise with SEBI on the issue of rating agencies’ adherence to Code of Conduct Fundamentals of the International Organisation Securities Commissions (IOSCO). (The Economic Times)
HDFC Fund Eyes Investment in Puravankara Unit – HDFC’s real estate fund is understood to be in advanced stages of investing around Rs 200 crore in a low-cost housing project being developed by the Bangalore-based Puravankara Projects. Puravankara Projects is executing the low cost housing project through a wholly-owned subsidiary Provident Housing & Infrastructure, set up last year. Sources indicate that HDFC is carrying out a due diligence of the project and the investment is likely to be funnelled into a special purpose vehicle floated by Provident for a 4,500 flats project in Bangalore. (Business Standard)
LaSalle Appoints Chris Martin as Head of Asset Management – Chicago-based LaSalle Investment Management has bolstered its Asia Pacific division with the appointment of Chris Martin as head of asset management. Martin joined from Australia’s GPT Group and will be based in Singapore reporting directly to Philip Ling, LaSalle’s managing director for Asia Pacific. In his new role, he will be responsible for overseeing the firm’s regional asset management group which comprises a team of 40 staff across Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea. The asset management group looks after a portfolio of properties acquired by the LaSalle funds totaling about 80 assets in varying sectors. Martin held the position of executive, wholesale funds at Australian GPT Group. Prior to that, he worked for Lend Lease in its property funds division.