Telenor Scraps Rights Issue to Fund Unitech Wireless Stake Acquisition - Telenor ASA, Norwegian telecom group has scrapped a 12 billion krone (around Rs 8,700 crore) rights issue to fund the acquisition of up to 60% stake in the India’s Unitech Wireless, an arm of Delhi-based realty firm Unitech. The Norway-based telco will now fund the Unitech deal with more debt and cash saved by scrapping dividends. Telenor has signed an 8 billion-krone three-year loan and this could be used to fund the Unitech Wireless. (The Economic Times)

Carrefour May Partner with Future Group - India’s largest retailer, future group in advanced talks with Europe’s largest retailer Carrefour for a joint venture to set up cash-and-carry outlets in India. If finalised, the discussions are expected to result in a joint venture between Carrefour wholesale Cash & Carry India and Big Bazaar. Currently, the talks are centering on creating an entity that will serve as a major supply-chain entity for all Future group store formats and enable it to significantly cut costs. According to reports, the promoters of the future group have met Carrefour India officials a few times in New Delhi and several meetings were also held with Carrefour’s senior management in France. (The Economic Times)

Essar's Aegis BPO Plans Expansion in S Africa through Acquisitions - Essar's Aegis BPO planning a major expansion in South Africa, including buying out assets. The firm is aggressively looking at geographical expansion. In South Africa, Aegis might go for an outright acquisition or buying out assets of an existing BPO firm, though the company is yet to decide on that. However, the merger and acquisition (M&A) team of the company, which at any point of time evaluates at least six targets, is yet to zoom in on a particular target. The acquisition or assets purchased will be in the area of customer lifecycle management space. (Business Standard)

Neeraj Bhargava Steps Down as WNS CEO - Neeraj Bhargava, one of the founders of BPO firm WNS Global Services, is stepping down as the group CEO. He will, however, continue in the CEO’s role till a new candidate assumes office and the transition is completed. Post this Bhargava will move to a role of a strategic advisor and stay on the company’s board. Neeraj Bhargava has been at the helm of the company since its inception and CEO since December 2003. (The Economic Times)

SEBI Asks DoCoMo and Tata Sons to Increase TTML Offer Price - The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has questioned the price of the open offer made by Japanese telecom major DoCoMo and Tata Sons for Tata Teleservices. SEBI has also asked the companies to increase the price in line with the valuation of another Tata group firm, Tata Teleservices (TTSL), which owns 37.5% stake in TTML. DoCoMo , which has acquired 26% stake in TTSL for Rs 13,070 crore, in November 2008 had given an open offer to acquire 20% stake of TTML at Rs 24.70 per share. Since it was an indirect acquisition, the offer price of Rs 24.70 per share was based on the average of the last six months share price in accordance with the SEBI regulation. SEBI believed to have said that since both the companies are operating in India and are engaged in the same vertical, the valuation for indirect acquisition should also be the same as direct acquisition. (Business Standard)

Gemini Engi-Fab and Edserve Softsystems to Launch Public Issues - Public issues of Gemini Engi-Fab and Edserve Softsystems are set to launch in the primary market. Both firms would be commencing road shows starting this week. While engineering and fabrication company Gemini Engi-Fab plans to issue about 55 lakh shares to raise about Rs 44 crore, Edserve Solutions, a web-learning company, is entering the capital market for floating 41 lakh shares to raise over Rs 20 crore. Both the issues are expected to open for subscription next week. (The Economic Times)

Sterling Holiday Resorts Places 15% to Three Funds - Sterling Holiday Resorts is making a preferential allotment of shares by placing 15% to three new investors- India horizon Fund, India Discovery Fund and Blue Ocean Investment Trust. Another 7.65% is being places as warrants. According to the company, the issue of the equity shares by way of preferential offer is to part finance the ongoing expansion program, meet capital expenditure and to repay debts. India Horizon Fund and India Discovery Fund will be issued 16,86,092 equity shares each at Rs 35 per equity share, while Blue Ocean Investment Trust will be issued 25,11 092 equity share at the same price. The face value of these equity shares is rd 10 per equity share. The placement will be made at the EGM of Sterling Holiday resorts on January 28, 2009. 30,00,000 warrants are being issued to an individual investor. The Economic Times

Powergrid Inks $ 400 Million Loan Agreement with World Bank - PowerGrid Corporation of India Ltd, the government owned power transmission company, has inked a loan agreement for $ 400 million with World Bank. The loan will be utilised to fund power grids transmission projects during the 11th plan. The loan assistance, amounting to Rs 2000 crore will be used by Powergrid to implement regional and grid strengthening schemes for formation of strong and vibrant National Grid. Powergrid has already taken loans from The World Bank for more than $ 2 Billion for various transmission projects and a further assistance of $1 billion is under discussion. (The Economic Times)

Etam to Withdraw JV with Future Group - Paris-based fashion retailer Etam has withdrawn its 50:50 joint venture with the Future Group. Restricting its lingerie and clothing brand in certain markets like France and China, Etam is also withdrawing from other European countries such as Belgium and Italy. According to future group officials, Etam and Future Group have decided to part ways as the product profile of Etam does not fit into Future group’s customer profile. (Business Line)



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