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News Roundup: Satyam Ex-CFO Gives Clean Chit to PwC in Fraud

06 April, 2009

Forum to Invest Rs 500 Crore in Prestige Estate – Forum Partners, a real estate focused fund managing assets over $2 billion globally, is in advanced talks with realty major Prestige Estates and Projects for entity level transaction estimated at around $ 100 million (Rs 500 crore). The fund infusion may happen through the mezzanine financing route possibly not leading to an equity conversion in the future. According to sources, the discussions between Forum Partners and Prestige have reached term-sheet stage. The transaction is expected to ease Prestige’s liquidity concerns and may see the company roll back plans to divest some assets for raising capital. (The Economic Times)

Satyam Ex-CFO Gives Clean Chit to PwC in Fraud – In a significant development, former Satyam Computer CFO Vadlamani Srinivas has told representatives of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) – the apex regulatory body for chartered accountants in India – that auditors S Gopalakrishnan and Talluri Srinivas of audit firm Price Waterhouse had no role to play in the fraud, as they were given forged documents by the company management. Mr Srinivas admitted that the fraud at the software company, which rocked the Indian corporate world, was entirely perpetrated by former chairman B Ramalinga Raju, with the active involvement of the CFO (Mr Srinivas himself), the company’s managing director B Rama Raju and cost accountant G Ramakrishna. (The Economic Times)

Sanofi Aventis-Piramal Deal Falls Through Over Valuation – French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Aventis’ proposed deal to acquire a majority stake in Mumbai-based Piramal Healthcare has fallen through due to differences over valuation. According to sources, Sanofi Aventis had put a valuation of over Rs 300 per share for Piramal Healthcare, which was not acceptable to the promoters. Talks between Sanofi Aventis and Piramal Healthcare had reached an advanced stage before collapsing. (The Economic Times)

Aircel in Talks to Acquire Loop Mobile – Aircel Cellular, the Indian unit of Malaysia’s Maxis Communications, is in talks to acquire Loop Mobile (earlier BPL Mobile), which is currently managed by the Ruias of the Essar group. Both companies have been holding discussions for around seven months now, say sources. Aircel and Loop have not reached an agreement over the valuation of the Mumbai-circle operator. Valuation has complicated the process. More so, because market conditions have changed since the time talks started over seven months ago. Industry analysts value Loop Mobile at somewhere between Rs 1,500 crore and Rs 2,000 crore. (The Economic Times)

Jayanti Chauhan to Join Bisleri as Director – After considering careers in fashion and photography for five years, Jayanti Chauhan, the only child of Parle Bisleri owner Ramesh Chauhan, has decided to play safe and join her father’s business. The 24-year-old Chauhan, who has studied fashion styling, merchandising, make-up art and photography, will join Parle Bisleri as a director sometime this week. This will put an end to all speculation that Ramesh Chauhan may sell India’s No. 1 packaged water brand, Bisleri, which has been a takeover target for many companies, including Groupe Danone and Nestle, because his daughter was not interested in the business. (The Economic Times)

Tata Motors Postpones Fund-Raising, Seeks $2 Billion Refinancing – Tata Motors, India’s largest commercial vehicle maker, has postponed plans for an overseas equity issue and sale of investments to repay the $3 billion bridge loan it took in June last year to acquire the Jaguar and Land Rover (JLR) brands from Ford. The company has now asked its lenders to refinance about $2 billion of the bridge loan as a term loan. The bridge loan is due for repayment on June 1. Tata Motors is in discussions with banks on re-financing the remaining $2 billion. (Business Standard)

Promoters to Sell 24% in Wockhardt Hospitals – Wockhardt will divest a 24 per cent stake in its unlisted subsidiary, Wockhardt Hospitals. This was the amount the promoters had planned to divest in an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in January 2008, but had cancelled, owing to the steep fall in the stock markets. The Khorakiwalas expect to raise roughly Rs 500 crore from the stake sale, which values Wockhardt Hospitals at roughly Rs 2,000 crore. In January, the promoters had expected to raise Rs 700 crore from a 24 per cent divestment through the IPO. (Business Standard)


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News Roundup: Satyam Ex-CFO Gives Clean Chit to PwC in Fraud

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