November 2007
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Balaji may offload 15% in motion pictures arm

Balaji Telefilms, Ekta Kapoor-promoted production house, plans to offload 10-15 per cent stake in its wholly owned subsidiary Balaji Motion Pictures. Sources said the company is valued at Rs 1,000 crore. Centrum Finance is said to be the financial advisor to the company. Sources added that the company is in talks with private equity investors. It is considering roping in only one private equity, instead of a cluster of investors. However, the plan is at a nascent stage. Balaji Telefilms CEO R Karthik said, “We are adequately funded to take care of our needs. We are weighing various options to fund our future growth. However, it is premature at this stage to comment on any specific instrument.” Balaji Motion Pictures in the past has produced films such as Kya Kool Hai Hum, co-produced Shootout at Lokhandwala with Sanjay Gupta and Sanjay Dutt’s banner White Feather Films. [...]

Lehman, IL&FS look to buy 10pc in Ramky arm

Deutsche Bank, IL&FS, Lehman Brothers and Sabre Abraaj are looking to pick up an equity stake of around 10% in Ramky Estates and Farms, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Rs 1,600-crore Ramky Group. “We are in talks with these private equity funds to raise around $100 million (Rs 407 crore). The plan is to raise money in 2008,” said a company official. The Ramky group has raised around $128 million (Rs 532 crore) for two of its subsidiaries — Ramky Infrastructure and Ramky Enviro Engineers. IL&FS and Sabre Abraaj have picked up a 13.5% stake in Ramky Infrastructure for $28 million (Rs 125 crore), while Deutsche Bank, Lehman Brothers and IL&FS have picked up a 10% stake in Ramky Enviro Engineers for around $ 100 million (Rs 407 crore). “We are looking at a similar pattern for Ramky Estates and Farms as well,” the official said. Crisil is in the process of evaluating the real estate company. [...]

25 foreign investors line up for UTI AMC stake

Private equity firm Blackstone, Goldman Sachs, UBS, Citigroup, National Australian Bank and Shinsei Bank are likely bidders for an equity stake in India’s oldest fund house, UTI Asset Management Company (UTI AMC). Close to 25 overseas institutional investors have evinced interest in picking up a stake in the country’s third largest mutual fund. UTI AMC plans to offload 20% stake through a private placement and 29% through an initial public offer. However, no single investor would be able to hold more than 5%. “Merchant bankers are in the process of readying the information memorandum which will be given out to prospective investors as a part of the pre-marketing exercise before they give their bids. However, all institutional investors will have to match the initial public offer price if it is more,” a source involved with the process told ET. The private placement is expected to be completed by January while the initial public offer is slated for February-March. The listing process has to be completed before March 31, 2008. The fund house could raise about Rs 6,000-8,000 crore through the combination of private placement and initial public offer. [...]

Reliance Seeks to Sell Further Stake in Towers Subsidiary

India's Reliance Communications (RCOM) is reported to be planning to sell another 5% stake in its wireless tower business (RTIL) by the end of this year. The Economic Times reports that JP Morgan has invited bids for the stake – which it aims to sell for more than the $345 million that the company got for the 5% it sold earlier this year. The sale at the time valued the tower operations at US$6.75 billion. Reliance wants the business to achieve an enterprise valuation of US$9 billion – which would require the extra 5% to sell for at least US$450 million. The tower business currently counts Reliance' CDMA network as its prime customer and also provides services to Reliance's GSM network. There have been regular rumours that several operators are considering merging their tower operations to create an independent rival to RTIL. [...]

Reliance Entertainment acquires Anirights Infomedia

Reliance Entertainment, part of Anil Ambani's Reliance Group (ADAG) has acquired Anirights Infomedia, an animation company based in Pune. Reliance Entertainment is planning big investments in animation projects. This acquisition boosts Reliance Entertainment's plans for the entire value chain in the entertainment business, complementing its presence in movies, music, gaming, mobile portals and radio. According to Nasscom, the Indian animation industry was estimated at $354 million in 2006 and is expected to reach $869 million by 2010. The Indian gaming industry was estimated at $48 million and is expected to cross $424 million by 2010. Rajesh Sawhney, President, Reliance Entertainment said that the acquisition was completed sometime in the past three months, without giving a specific time or Reliance Entertainment's investment in the animation company. [...]

India Info to sell 26% stake in arm for $100 mn

Leading foreign investors like Goldman Sachs and Blackstone are in final stages of negotiations to buy 26% stake in India Infoline Distribution Co (IILD), the distribution subsidiary of the brokerage firm India Infoline. The investors are willing to offer $100 million for the strategic stake in IILD. The Mumbai-based broking firm’s move to offload stake comes after the proposed deal with Merrill Lynch fell through. Merrill Lynch, which had shown interest to invest in the subsidiary, later backed off citing technical reasons. When contracted by ET, India Infoline vice-president (planning and strategy) Harshad Apte confirmed that they are in talks with some funds. However, he refused to divulge any further details. “We cannot give any specific names,” he said. On Friday, shares of India Infoline rose 2.50% to close at Rs 1,114.90 on the Bombay Stock Exchange. [...]

Allahabad Bank eyes stake in African bank

State-run Allahabad Bank plans to buy stake in a small bank in Africa to establish presence in the growing market, a top executive said on Monday. The bank would like to invest $15-20 million at the upper limit to buy about 74 per cent stake in a bank in Africa, chairman A.C.Mahajan said over telephone. “We will shortly appoint merchant bankers to find the possible target,” he told Reuters. “African economy is growing and we want to tap the potential there,” he said. Besides its operations in India, the bank has offices in Hongkong and Shangem (China). [...]