Wilmar International, a Singapore-based agribusiness group, has initiated talks to buy a stake in sugar refiner Shree Renuka Sugars. Sources familiar with the matter say Wilmar is keen on buying a majority stake in the Indian company, which is looking at various options to ease its Rs 8,400 crore debt burden. Shree Renuka had borrowed to part-finance its acquisition of two loss-making sugar companies in Brazil in 2009-10. It had bought Vale Do Ivai SA Acucar E Alcool in 2009 for $82 million (Rs 380 crore according to the then exchange rate) and Equipav SA Acucar E Alcool in 2010 for $329 million (Rs 1,500 crore then). Negotiations are still at the preliminary stage and might not fructify into a deal, as it is not clear if Shree Renuka’s promoters, led by Vice-Chairman Narendra Murkumbi, are interested in selling a majority stake. The talk earlier was that Shree Renuka was interested in selling stakes in its Brazilian subsidiaries. (Business Standard)

Tata Group firms look to Singapore to raise funds: Tata Group companies are increasingly taking the road to Singapore to raise funds, taking advantage of the country's sound economic and institutional strength. In 2013 itself, three Tata companies — Tata Motors, Tata Communications and Tata Steel — have raised an aggregate of almost Rs 4,000 crore, through the issuance of Singapore dollar-denominated bonds. In a recent move, a Singapore-based Tata Motors subsidiary, TML Holdings Pte, which owns UK-based Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Plc, is reportedly in talks with banks to raise $500 million (about Rs 2,500 crore) through syndicate loan to meet various operational requirements. According to sources, Tata Communications, a Mumbai-based telco, is also doing road shows in Singapore to raise funds through a bond issue. The extent of the bond issue is yet undecided. Backed by Tata Motors, TML Holdings had raised $350 million in May (Rs 1,545 crore then) through Singapore dollar-dominated Regulation S bonds (Reg S) at an annual coupon rate of 4.25 per cent. The proceeds were to be used for redemption of preference shares issued to Tata Motors and for general corporate purposes. (Business Standard)

LIC Nomura eyes Rs 200 crore ($ 32.2 million) from new capital protection fund: LIC Nomura Mutual Fund plans to launch a capital protection fund shortly, from which it aims to mop up around Rs 200 crore ($32.2 million) from investors, a top company official said. “We plan to launch a capital protection oriented fund soon. From this NFO, we aim to raise at least Rs 200 crore,” chief executive Nilesh Sathe told PTI. He also said given the market environment with uncertainty of future direction, investors are likely to show interest in this kind of scheme. As per the fund house, while 85 per cent of the corpus will be invested in debt, rest 15 per cent will be invested in equities. On the direction of market, Sathe said it will depend on the global liquidity situation and FII flows. Late last month, the company had told PTI that it was keen to acquire a smaller player in its bid to emerge as a major player in the mutual fund industry. “We are not averse to mergers and acquisition. If we get a right fit at right valuation, we will be definitely looking at it. This can give us a quantum jump in our AUM with addition of new investors,” Sathe had said. (Business Line)

IIFCL mops up Rs 1,234 crore ($199.1 million) in first tranche: The Rs 500-crore ($80.6 million) issue of tax-free bonds by India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL), which closed on Thursday last week, mopped up Rs 1,234 crore ($199.1 million). The issue had opened in early October. IIFCL has exercised the option to retain oversubscription of up to Rs 2,000 crore ($322.6 million). Already, state-owned IIFCL had mobilised as much as Rs 2,963 crore ($478.07 million) through the private placement route. (Business Line)

SBI to raise around Rs 9000 crore ($1.45 billion) via QIP: State Bank of India (SBI) may soon be raising around Rs 9,000 crore through a qualified institutional placement (QIP) programme, says Rajiv Takru, secretary of department of financial services. It is awaiting approvals from the government and the Reserve Bank (RBI) which will be done on a fast-track basis, he tells CNBC-TV18. He said that it is going to come to the government for approval. It also goes to RBI for approval. So, I expect those approvals would go through quickly. After that they (SBI) would have their extraordinary general meeting and then go back to the board for final issue; all fast tracked. (Moneycontrol)

Courtesy: VCCEdge

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