Global wine investor Ravi Viswanathan, backed by financing support from Reliance Capital, has emerged as a strong contender to buy a 33% stake in Nashik Vintners, the parent of India's leading wine maker Sula, people briefed on the matter told. The consortium is competing with L Capital and PremjiInvest as Sula has received at least three term-sheets - a preliminary agreements detailing terms and conditions for a proposed investment. Thai Beverage, better known as ThaiBev, is also in the fray for the stake purchase, sources said. The offers value Sula up to $120 million (Rs 673 crore). Existing financial investors plan to sell between 30% and 33% stake with Sula also raising some fresh capital. Investment bank Avendus Capital is advising on the deal. (Times of India)

Heinz India to focus on core brands, acquire local food companies: US food maker HJ Heinz Co plans to focus on its core brands, acquire local food companies and reposition its flagship brand Complan to boost its business in the country. The company is also in talks with local food companies to acquire them. As part of its move to reposition Complan as a family health food amid growing competition and slowing sales growth, Heinz has for the first time brought in a roped in celebrity endorser chess Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand. (Economic Times)

Top PEs in race for Laurus Labs stake: Private equity giant Carlyle Group and Advent International are in discussions for a $150-million (Rs 900-crore) investment deal in Laurus Labs, a Hyderabad-based manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for oncology and anti-retroviral drugs, at least two people familiar with the matter said. The decade-old unlisted company, has attracted the interest of other private equity firms TA Associates and KKR as well. Investment bank Jefferies is running a fund-raising process for Laurus Labs. The firm said to be seeking a valuation of $450-500 million (Rs 2,800-3,100 crore). The investment deal could see existing investor Fidelity Growth Partners, which invested Rs 200 crore in FY12, part-selling some of its shares in the company. (Times of India)

Oriental Bank mulls selling Rs 1,000-cr bad loans to asset reconstruction firms: The Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) is likely to sell bad loans worth Rs 800-1,000 crore ($142 million-$178 million) to asset reconstruction firms this quarter, SL Bansal, Chairman and Managing Director, has said. The public sector bank had last resorted to sale of assets to asset reconstruction companies (ARCs) about four years ago. As against acquisition of bad loans worth Rs 740 crore in 2012-13, Arcil is looking to acquire assets worth Rs 2,000 crore this financial year. (Business Line)

Courtesy: VCCEdge

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