Wockhardt Taps MNCs to Sell Protinex, Farex - In a move to prune its debts, troubled pharma firm Wockhardt is in talks with a few MNCs to sell two of its best-selling brands - Protinex and Farex. Global giants like Abbott Laboratories and Danone have been approached by the company for a possible deal. Wockhardt will have to sell Rs 800 crore of assets in the next one year, according to an understanding reached with its lenders who have agreed to restructure the loans. The company’s debt is being rejigged under the corporate debt restructuring (CDR) process. (The Economic Times)

BSNL Mulls Stake Sale to Foreign Investor - State-owned telecom service provider Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is ready to join the league of private players by offering a stake to a foreign telecom entity, as an alternative to an initial public offering (IPO) which faced stiff resistance from employee unions. (Business Standard)

Pantaloon Retail Plans to Invest Rs 350 Crore to Expand Big Bazaar - Pantaloon Retail India (PRIL) is planning to invest close to Rs 350 crore over the next one year to expand its value hypermarket chain Big Bazaar. The group plans to set up 50 new Big Bazaar srores and aims at growing its retail space by 35 per cent, from 5 million sq ft right now. The group would also allocate special focus on fashion and foods segments through setting up exclusive outlets for these categories. (Business Standard)

Huntsman Acquires Metrochem's Vadodara Unit - Huntsman Textile Effects, a division of Basel-based Huntsman Corporation has acquired the Vadodara division of Metrochem Industries, a textile intermediates and specialty products manufacturing company. With an employee strength of over 700, the division runs a manufacturing facility with annual sales of approximately Rs 240 crore. Huntsman TE is a global provider of high-quality dyes and chemicals to the textile and related industries. (Business Standard)

Aviva Keen on Raising FDI in Indian Venture to 49% - A day before Budget, UK-based insurance firm Aviva today said it is keen on raising FDI to 49% in the Indian venture subject to policy liberation. Aviva has said that both Dabur and Aviva remain fully committed to growing the India operations and will infuse capital, based on the business requirement. The companies are looking forward to the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) limit going up to 49%. Aviva India is 74:26 joint venture with FMCG major Dabur and UK-based Aviva Plc. (Business Standard)

UCO Plans General Insurance Foray with 30% Stake - Pubic sector lender UCO Bank will hold a 30 per cent stake in its proposed general insurance foray, likely to be operational by March 2010. The general insurance joint venture would have an initial capital of Rs 150 crore. The bank is in talks with a foreign partner and  domestic bank or corporate house for starting the business. An agreement is likely to be signed by September. (Business Standard)

Lodha Group in Talks with PE Players to Mop Up Rs 850 Crore - Mumbai-based realty firm Lodha Group is in talks with three private equity players to raise $180 million (around Rs 850 crore) for its three projects. The company is in active negotiations with private equity funds for three projects and is looking at an average deal size of $60 million for each project. The Rs 2,200-crore privately-held group, which already has Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and ICICI Venture as investors, is scouting for PE investments in an affordable residential project, a high-end office project and a back-office building project. (The Economic Times)

SpiceJet May Scout for Local Acquisitions - Major investors in the low-cost airline SpiceJet have asked the company to look for opportunities for acquisition in the domestic market. The airline is, however, yet to appoint a financial advisor to do due diligence. Some of the major investments in SpiceJet are by American turnaround investor Wilbur Ross and Gulf-based Istithmar PJSC. (The Economic Times)

Anil Ambani’s Reliance Capital exits Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries - Anil Ambani group firm Reliance Capital has exited Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries by offloading an investment worth Rs 129.88 crore in the shares of the country's most valued firm. However, R-Cap continues to hold a little over one per cent stake in another Mukesh Ambani group firm Reliance Industrial Infrastructure. (The Economic Times)

Prakash Industries to Raise $100 million Via FCCBs - Delhi-based Prakash Industries, which has interest in steel, power and mining businesses, is raising $100 million through foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCB) to part-fund its proposed 625 mw thermal power plant at Champa (Chhattisgarh). The company will also raise debt and use internal accruals to fund the $500-million (Rs 2,500 crore) project. Roadshows for the FCCB issue will begin on July 20, and the issue will close by mid-August. (The Economic Times)


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