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News Roundup: Swiss Re, Religare in JV Talks

28 May, 2009

Swiss Re, Religare in JV Talks – Swiss Re, the world’s second-largest reinsurer, is in talks with New Delhi-based Religare Enterprises to form a joint venture to launch a healthcare insurance company in India. Discussions for the venture are in advanced stages. The two companies plan to invest up to Rs 500 crore initially in the venture. While the shareholding pattern for the proposed joint venture is not known, under the existing norms, foreign partners are not allowed to hold more than 26% stake in Indian insurance ventures. (The Economic Times)

Standard Chartered Pulls Out of RBS Race – The planned sale of Asian assets by British Bank RBS may take longer than expected with key contenders pulling out. Standard Chartered, one of the three prospective bidders, has withdrawn from the race while talks with HSBC are also understood to have hit a rough patch, leaving only Australian major ANZ in the fray. According to sources, StanChart has decided against making a bid and the  bank may return to make a bid in case RBS revises its terms of sale. (The Economic Times)

Tata Motors Completes JLR Loan Refinancing – The country’s largest truck maker Tata Motors, which had raised Rs 4,200 crore last week through the issue of secured non-convertible debentures (NCDs), has completed the process of raising around Rs 4,800 crore ($1 billion) more through the external commercial borrowing (ECB) route. The documents have been signed with the bankers in Mumbai, Hong Kong and Dubai and the process has been completed. According to Tata Motors, this was achieved by extending the final maturity of $1 billion by 18 months up to December 31, 2010. (Business Standard)

Novartis May Revise Open Offer Price – Switzerland-based, Novartis AG, the parent company of Novartis India, is likely to revise its open offer price to buy back an additional stake of up to 39% of equity to increase its shareholding in the Indian subsidiary to 90%. The open offer price is likely to be revised from the earlier Rs 351 to between Rs 425 and Rs 450, as the current share prices of Novartis India are above the present open offer price. (Business Standard)

Axiata Mulls Hiking Stake in Idea Through Open Offer – A battle is brewing between the two major shareholders of Idea Cellular, Axiata Group (formerly Telekom Malaysia) and the Aditya Birla group, as a result of the Malaysian company’s unilateral plans to increase its shareholding from 14.99% to 40% by making an open offer. Aditya Birla group holds 49% stake in Idea. At a minimum, Axiata plans to increase its stake to 26%, a level that under Indian company law, gives it veto-power in the running of Idea Cellular. (Business Standard)

Godrej Eyes Sara Lee’s Stake in JV – Godrej is looking at buying Sara Lee’s stake in the India joint venture Godrej Sara Lee. The group is consolidating its 49% holding in Godrej Sara Lee in another group company Godrej Consumer Products (GCPL) which has a stronger balance sheet. This is being done through the merger of Godrej ConsumerBiz Private (GCBPL) and Godrej Hygiene Care Private (GHCPL) the two companies which jointly hold 49% in Godrej Sara Lee into GCPL. Globally, Sara Lee is reportedly in talks with leading consumer products giants like Unilever and Reckitt Benckiser, among others, to sell its European household and personal care business. It is doing so to focus on its core businesses of food and beverages. (The Times of India)

DE Shaw May Not Exit DLF Assets – DE Shaw is reconsidering exiting investment in DLF Assets (DAL). DE Shaw’s put option to sell stake to DAL lapsed on May 22. DE Shaw has invested USD 400 million in DAL in 2007 and holds compulsory convertible preference shares in DAL. DE Shaw has been wanting to exit since early 2009. DAL was supposed to list as a REIT, or Real Estate Investment Trust in Singapore, which would have provided DE Shaw with the exit. Since they could not find a way to exit, the promoters had come to DE Shaw’s rescue and the Singh family had diluted 10% of their stake in the listed entity DLF. (Moneycontrol.com)

 


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News Roundup: Swiss Re, Religare in JV Talks

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