January 2008
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Cobra Beer acquires its first ever brewery in India

Cobra Beer Ltd has today announced its first ever brewery acquisition in India. Cobra has acquired a controlling stake in Iceberg Industries Ltd, a leading brewery based in Bihar, north east India. Cobra has purchased 76% of the equity from the Katyal family-owned brewery with Amit Katyal retaining a 24% share. The move marks a significant stage in the company’s ambitious global development strategy. The new brewery comes in addition to existing manufacturing in Poland,Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK and five further locations in India. Lord Karan Bilimoria, Founder and Chairman, Cobra Beer, comments: “Since we began brewing Cobra in India for the Indian market, back in 2005, we’ve made phenomenal progress. The market is expanding at an incredible rate – over 27% last year, and we’re delighted to see so many Indian beer-lovers embracing Cobra as the market grows. The purchase of Iceberg will help us take Cobra to a whole new level in India, allowing us to increase and manage our capacity and to really focus our efforts on the Indian market. [...]

BCCL picks up stake in Mindlogicx Infotech

Bennett, Coleman & Co Limited (BCCL) has acquired a stake in Mindlogicx Infotech, a Bangalore-based new generation software product development and services company providing end-to-end solutions in KPO, virtual learning, online knowledge and skills assessment, business intelligence and IT consulting. Suresh Elangovan, CEO of Mindlogicx, said: “We are excited about this tie-up with BCCL as Mindlogicx shares the vision of creating future leaders by empowering the Indian youth with knowledge. Our suite of softwares are offered to the end users as 'on demand' services through an integrated technology platform called Vedas with the objective of delivering knowledge at the desktop of the users. [...]

PE fund to raise $150m for India, Lanka realty

Pragnya, an India-focused private equity firm, is planning to raise $150 million to invest in Indian and Sri Lankan realty projects. It has already invested $40 million in realty projects in India and Sri Lanka. “We will be investing an additional $110 million in Indian realty projects in this calendar year,” said Mr Subba R Dukkipati, managing partner of Pragnya. This will take the company’s total investment to $150 million by this year. He said the company had already invested in L&T Tech Park coming up in Kochi, Kerala. The first phase of the Rs 1,200 crore-project will be inaugurated soon, he added. Pragnya is also participating in a recently announced project announced by L&T South City Projects Ltd (L&T SCPL) in Chennai. The company will have 24.5 per cent stake in the project. The project is spread over 100 acres and will be developed in four phases. It will be completed over the next five years. [...]

Carlyle in Race to Buy Stake in Tata's Telecom Unit

Tata Teleservices Ltd. has shortlisted five companies including American Tower Corp. and Carlyle Group for selling a stake in its wireless towers unit, the Economic Times reported, citing people it didn't identify. The Indian phone carrier may sell as much as 49 percent of the unit, the newspaper said. Other companies in the race are India's Essar Group, Quipo Telecom Infrastructure and Excel Towers, the newspaper said. A Tata Teleservices spokesman declined to comment, the Economic Times reported. Citigroup Inc. and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. are advising Tata on the deal, it said. (Bloomberg) [...]

ICICI Ventures to spend $250m on healthcare

ICICI Ventures, one of the largest private-equity funds in the country, is going big in healthcare by investing $250 million through I-Ven Medicare, a special vehicle focusing on healthcare business. I-Ven is close to tying up with a strategic US-based healthcare financial investor, where the latter will bring in $80million, all to invest in the booming healthcare sector in the country. I-Ven Medicare, which is the lead vehicle for all ICICI Venture’s investments in the healthcare sector, has already lined up investments of Rs 450 crore for upcoming hospitals and healthcare facilities in Delhi, Maharashtra and West Bengal. It will also invest in two other healthcare facilities in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu shortly. Next in line will be another Rs 550 crore, which will be invested for building up facilities in seven other healthcare platforms in other parts of India. [...]