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News Roundup: Wilbur Ross Leads Race to Acquire Cobra Beer

09 April, 2009

RIL and OVL to Pick Up Stakes in Oil Fields in Venezuela – Reliance Industries (RIL) and ONGC Videsh (OVL) may pick up 20% stake each in at least one of the three large oil fields in Venezuela’s Carabobo region. Each one of the Carabobo oil fields has 40-50 billion barrels of proven oil reserves — enough to meet the total global oil demand for 6-8 weeks. The RIL-OVL consortium will pick up 40% stake while the balance 60% will be held by Venezuela’s national oil company PdVSA. The two Indian companies will finalise members of the proposed consortium and submit expression of interest (EoI) to PdVSA in the next 15 days. The deal is expected to be cleared by June. (The Economic Times)

Wilbur Ross Leads Race to Acquire Cobra Beer – Wilbur Ross, the master of distress buyouts, has emerged as a strong contender to acquire the troubled Cobra Beer that has been put on the block by its founder Karan Billimoria. The billionaire investor, who has recently been active in India, is looking to either buy the Cobra Beer brand or take a controlling interest in the beermaker’s Indian unit. Wilbur Ross & Co is believed to be exploring a partnership with alcoholic beverage industry veteran Ravi Jain for acquiring the Cobra Beer stake. (The Economic Times)

DLF Seals Deal to Sell New Delhi Hotel for Rs 55 Crore – The country’s largest realty company DLF has entered into an agreement with an unidentified wealthy individual to sell its 60-room hotel at Saket, New Delhi, for around Rs 55 crore. The move is part of the company’s efforts to generate cash through asset sale to support other ongoing projects. The hotel, located adjacent to DLF’s South Court mall, is built on the land purchased from the Delhi Development Authority (DDA). The super structure of the hotel is ready and expected to be operational by July. (The Economic Times)

Shriram May Buy Sobha Developers’ Assets – Shriram Properties – part of the $5.5-billion Chennai based Shriram group of companies is believed to be in talks with Bangalore-based residential market leader Sobha Developers. It is understood that Shriram may be looking to buy some of Sobha’s asset portfolio – up to seven of them. These assets could be land with development rights or projects under development. The deal is expected to be worth Rs Rs 200-300 crore. Sun Apollo, an equity partner in some of Shriram’s properties, may help Shriram by putting in some of the money. (The Economic Times)

Yo! China to Sell Part Stake – Yo! China is looking at partially selling its stake. Moods Hospitality, which owns Chinese food chain Yo! China, has initiated talks with a host of restaurant firms, including Speciality Restaurants (the parent company of Chinese restaurant chain Mainland China), for sale. Sources suggest that the company may also look at selling a majority stake. Moods Hospitality is looking at a deal size of Rs 20-25 crore. The acquisition will help Speciality Restaurants expand its operations. (The Economic Times)

Banks May Buy Wockhardt’s FCCBs – Indian banks are likely to buy Wockhardt’s foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs) from foreign investors, as part of the drug major’s corporate debt restructuring (CDR) programme kicked off last week, along with an organisational reshuffle. Wockhardt moved the CDR cell for restructuring its liabilities that typically include lower interest rates and a longer, easier payment schedule to reduce the debt burden. ICICI Bank is Wockhardt’s lead banker while IDBI is the nodal agency for the CDR cell. The FCCBs will be part of the CDR scheme, since they are on the company’s balance sheet. Wockhardt had issued FCCBs worth nearly $110 million two years ago to fund its aggressive overseas expansion. The FCCBs are currently trading at 60% discount, and are due to mature in October. This is the first time that FCCBs will be part of a debt restructuring process involving an Indian company. (The Economic Times)

India May Contribute $10-11 Billion to IMF – India may contribute around $10-11 billion to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as its contribution to the $500 billion that the global institution is raising from 20 powerful nations for lending to crisis-stricken countries. A decision may be taken in a few days. World leaders at the G20 meeting, held earlier this month in London, decided that they would provide fresh funds to IMF, so that it can triple its $250 billion available for lending to needy countries. Japan and the EU have already committed $100 billion each while China has committed $40 billion, as the IMF seeks to inject cash into the world economy and help it tide over its sharpest decline in decades. (The Economic Times)


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News Roundup: Wilbur Ross Leads Race to Acquire Cobra Beer

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