Strides Arcolab, the Bangalore-based publicly-held pharmaceutical company, is understood to be in talks with Japan-based $12-billion Otsuka Holdings to sell Agila Specialties, its specialties division. Industry watchers estimate the deal at about $900 million. The amount is much lower than $2 billion, Agila’s valuation according to recent reports. Global pharmaceuticals majors, including Pfizer and Mylan, have been interested in Strides Arcolab’s specialties business, which reported strong operating margins. Earlier, the company’s discussions with Pfizer had hit a roadblock. Earlier, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Factory, a subsidiary of Otsuka Holdings, had signed a joint venture with Ahmedabad-based Claris Lifesciences, along with Mitsui, for specialised IV solutions in a deal worth about INR 1,300 crore. (Business Standard)

India’s HDFC Bank Plans Dollar Bond Sale as CIFI Cancels Issue: HDFC Bank Ltd. plans dollar-denominated debt as Asia- Pacific sales rose to a three-week high. CIFI Holdings Group Co., a Hong Kong-listed developer, canceled its note issue. HDFC hired Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Standard Chartered Plc to arrange a series of fixed- income meetings from Feb 25. (Bloomberg)

Bharti to meet investors for a potential $1 billion bond sale: Bharti Airtel Ltd is planning to meet global investors for what could potentially be its debut dollar bond sale nearly two years after failing to pull the trigger on a similar exercise. The company has picked seven foreign banks to arrange the meetings in Asia, Europe and the United States. The banks are arranging the global investor meetings on behalf of Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands), a unit of Bharti Airtel. Barclays Capital, BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA), Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Standard Chartered and UBS are the arrangers for the investor meet. Bharti Airtel is rated "BBB-" by Fitch, "BB+" by S&P. (

JPMorgan raising up to $1.5b Asia infrastructure fund: JPMorgan Chase & Co is seeking to raise between $1 billion and $1.5 billion (INR 5,414 crore – INR 8,121 crore) in a dedicated fund to invest in core infrastructure assets across Asia. The Wall Street bank's second pan-Asian infrastructure fund is nearly double the size of its first fund raised in 2010, which is now nearly fully invested. JPMorgan Asian Infrastructure & Related Resources Opportunity Fund II will invest in transportation, power generation, water and social infrastructure across China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and South Korea. JPMorgan raised about $860 million in its first dedicated Asia infrastructure fund. (

SIDBI VC to invest INR 100 crore by March from its second SME fund: SIDBI Venture Capital Fund, a subsidiary of Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), is hoping to invest around INR 100 crore ($18.47 million) by March end from its second SME-focused fund, India Opportunity Fund. The fund started evaluating businesses for investment. Around INR 70 crore ($12.92 million) has been sanctioned and another INR 30 crore ($5.5 million) is likely to be sanctioned by March end. India Opportunity Fund has a corpus of INR 670 crore. The bank's first SME Growth Fund, with a corpus of INR 500 crore had invested in the small and medium industries and is currently under divestment phase. (The Economic Times)

GMR wants to sell off Singapore power plant: Cash-strapped infrastructure conglomerate GMR has decided to exit its first independent power project (IPP) outside India by selling the entire 70% stake in its Singapore plant, popularly known as the Island Power Project. GMR expecting to raise over $650 million through the sale, the move will generate liquidity and help pare its consolidated group net debt of INR 37,681 crore as of December 2012, which amounts to a gearing of 3.5 times. The Bangalore-headquartered group is currently in advanced negotiations with a group of strategic South-East Asian power and utility majors, and is hoping to conclude a deal in the next few months. The project is housed under GMR Energy (Singapore) Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of GMR Infrastructure. In 2011, Petronas International Corporation, an arm of Malaysian state-run oil company Petronas, had bought a 30% stake in the project for $38.5 million (INR 209 crore) and become a joint sponsor. (The Economic Times)

Apollo in talks to acquire Chennai hospital: Apollo Hospital Enterprises Ltd (AHEL) is in talks with Chennai-based Lifeline Group of Hospitals to take over Lifeline Multi Speciality Hospital at Perungudi, on the city outskirts. The deal was in the final stage where valuation was to be finalised for the 225-bed hospital, of which around 120-150 beds are operational. (Business Standard)

Catholic Syrian Bank to launch rights issue: Kerala-based private sector lender Catholic Syrian Bank (CSB) today announced it would launch a rights issue to infuse fresh capital of INR 78 crore. For this, the bank has fixed a premium of INR 65 on every share with a face value of INR 10. The issue would be launched on March 7 and closed on March 21. The ratio of the issue is 3:1 and the total number of shares is 10,46,17,81. CSB’s shares are not listed on any stock exchange. Recently, UAE-based Indian businessman M A Yusuf Ali had made a bid to acquire 4.99% stake in the bank. (Business Standard)

Essar wants ONGC to quit Cambay basin JV: Essar Energy wants to take full control of the Mehsana block in the eastern flank of the Cambay basin of Gujarat from its partner, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC). Essar owns 70% stake in the block and has approached ONGC to take on the entire area on a “sole risk” basis, under which it make all the investments for developing the block and assume responsibility for paying all government levies and cesses. According to details available on Essar Energy’s website, this block was allocated prior to the New Exploration and Licensing Policy. Essar signed a 25-year production sharing contract with the Union government and ONGC in July 1998. (Business Standard)

SIDBI Venture Capital to invest in engineering firm: SIDBI Venture Capital Ltd. is looking to invest about INR 10 crore($1.84 million) in Pune-based Mitcon Consultancy and Engineering Services Ltd when the firm launches an initial public offer (IPO) in March to raise INR 25 crore ($4.6 million). SIDBI Venture Capital will invest the money through a pre-placement process in Mitco. (Live Mint)

Courtesy: VCCEdge

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