Novartis' Open Offer Uncertain - The fate of the open offer of Swiss pharma giant Novartis to scale up its stake in its Indian subsidiary Novartis India looks uncertain with the stock trading at a premium over the offer price. The Novartis stock closed at Rs 390 on Wednesday, 11% higher than the offer price of Rs 351. The offer will open on May 14 and close on June 3. Novartis on March 25 had announced the open offer to scale up its stake in Novartis India by 39% to almost 90%. It will have to spend nearly Rs 440 crore if the offer is fully subscribed. Industry watchers anticipate a de-listing of the Indian subsidiary should the parent company be successful. (The Economic Times)

Wockhardt Eyes Rs 150 Crore From Vet Unit Sale - Wockhardt will sell its animal healthcare business for an amount not less than Rs 150 crore. The company on Wednesday proposed the divestment of this asset through a postal ballot that will close on June 1, 2009. While Rs 150 crore is the company’s lower limit to consider an offer, according to sources the highest offer could be around Rs 250 crore. Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis and French firm Vetoquinol are believed to be close to concluding their due diligence for Wockhardt’s animal healthcare business. (The Economic Times)

Hiranandani Wins Hirco-Laxey Fight - Niranjan Hiranandani, chairman of Hirco Plc, today emerged winner in his long-drawn fight with Laxey Partners, an activist shareholder in the company which had been campaigning to remove the board of directors, including Hiranandani. Laxey has just over 10 per cent of Hirco’s equity and had called for an extraordinary general body meeting today to remove three directors of Hirco and replace them with its own nominees. Laxey also demanded that Hirco name a chairman who was independent of the Hiranandani family. (Business Standard)

Tata Sons Raises Rs 633 Crore by Selling TCS Shares - Tata Sons, the primary holding company of the Tata group, raised Rs 633.4 crore by selling 10.32 million shares of Tata Consultancy Services in a bulk deal on the National Stock Exchange. The shares, amounting to 1.05% stake in India’s largest software exporter, were held by Tata Ltd, a UK-based subsidiary of Tata Sons. The shares were sold at Rs 615 per share. The holding company of one of India’s largest business houses has raised the money when its companies are facing a fund crunch. (Business Standard)

McNally Bharat to Acquire Engineering Workshop, CMT Business - McNally Bharat Engineering Company (MBE), a joint venture between the Williamson Magor group and GP Birla group, will acquire an engineering workshop in Cologne, Germany and the CMT (coal and mineral technology) business of KHD Humboldt Wedag International GmbH. The term-sheet has been signed and the cost of acquisition would be arrived at after the due diligence. The acquisition will give MBE a footprint in Germany, India, South Africa, Russia and China. The turnover of the business is $50 million. (Business Standard)

Acacia Capital Hikes Stake in SKF India to 6.44% - Foreign fund house Acacia Capital Partners has hiked its stake up to 6.44% in bearings maker SKF India after purchasing fresh shares worth Rs 13.73 crore through the open market operations. Acacia Capital through its various investment arms purchased 7,69,000 shares worth Rs 13.73 crore, representing 1.46% stake in SKF India. Prior to the aforesaid transaction the fund house held 4.98% stake. (The Economic Times)

Gateway Distriparks Seeks Private Equity Money for Rail Unit - After a year, logistics firm Gateway Distriparks Ltd (GDL), is looking again for private equity investments of Rs 200-300 crore for the expansion of its rail subsidiary, Gateway Rail Freight. This time, the company says it is confident of finding a suitable investor in calendar year 2009. GDL had attempted to get a PE investor in 2007-08, but abandoned the plan around April 2008, after the stock markets fell. GDL will stick to its plan of diluting about 15-20% of stake for the investor. (DNA Money)

LIC May Get Waiver for Critical Investments - Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has asked state-run Life Insurance Corp. of India, or LIC, to reduce its stake in companies where its holding is in excess of 10%, except for a few “critical investments.” IRDA regulations cap an insurance firm’s investment in companies at 10%. LIC has in the past held higher holdings in many companies. But since Irda investment norms do not discriminate between private and public insurers, LIC will have to pare these holdings. (

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