February 2008
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HCL Technologies Buys US-Based Firm For $40 Mn

In order to strengthen its existence in insurance, banking and financial services segment, India’s fifth-biggest IT services company, HCL Technologies has acquired US-based Capital Stream, an IT solutions supplier for lending and straight-through processing for banks and finance companies. HCL has acquired Capital Stream in an all cash deal of about USD 40 million (Rs 160 crore). Ram Krishnan, corporate vice-president at HCL Technologies, told, “Financial lending has always been our focus and we have been trying to acquire capabilities to provide solutions in the commercial lending processes. This acquisition provides us that capability.” The recent deal will improve HCL’s capacity to offer end-to-end solutions via product and multi delivery capability to commercial as well as retail financial institutions. […]

RCom acquires African firm for $500 mn

Anil Ambani group company Reliance Communications is understood to have acquired an African company for close to $500 million (over Rs 2,000 crore), through which it plans to offer telecom access services in Uganda. This is the third global acquisition for the company after FLAG in 2003 and Yipes in 2007, and first international acquisition as far as services are concerned. According to industry sources, the acquisition agreement is believed to have been agreed upon late last evening in London and the total deal size is likely to be higher than the $211 million for FLAG and $300 million for Yipes. Formalities of completing the acquisition are expected to be completed during the day. Reliance has recently been allowed to offer GSM technology based mobile services in India along with its existing CDMA operations through out the country. […]

Mittal, Essar Oil eye 50% Prize Petroleum equity

Nonresident Indian steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal and Indian refiner Essar Oil are among four companies making preparations to buy a 50% equity stake in Prize Petroleum, a subsidiary of state-run Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd. Prize operates three small fields in western India and is considering a rights issue to fund its expansion. “Mittal Energy, Essar Oil, Larsen & Toubro, and Jaiprakash Associates are all doing due diligence for buying up the 50% stake of financial institutions in Prize Petroleum,” said Hindustan Petroleum Chairman Arun Balakrishnan. ICICI Bank, India's second largest lending institution, owns 45% of Prize Petroleum's equity, while mortgage firm Housing Development Finance Corp. holds the remaining 5%. Balakrishnan said his company was not interested in investing further in the explorer. […]

Angel Broking to place equity

There is now on the ground evidence of gulf interest in the Indian equity markets. It is not just about private equity or secondary markets, gulf investors are looking at direct participation by picking up stakes in retail brokerage houses like Angel Broking and Sharekhan. NDTV has learnt that Angel Broking is making a second placement of equity and there are some new entrants in the running. In its second placement, Angel Broking will raise Rs 250 crore while the first placement last year to IFC for 12.5 per cent was done at Rs 150 crore. “We will be placing a second round of equity by the end of the year. This will be to finance the margin trading business that we are going to get into. For the first time we have seen interest from gulf investors coming in to pick up the stake and we in talks with several people,” said Dilip Thakker, Chairman, Angel Broking. […]

Dubai International to invest $5 bn in India, China, Japan

The chief operating officer of Dubai International Capital says the fund is thinking of investing $5 billion in India, China and Japan combined over the next three years. Anand Krishnan said also it's time to buy sluggish Japanese stocks, a news report said today. “It is a good investment opportunity,” he was quoted as saying by Japanese business daily, the Nikkei. The investment company, owned by the ruler of the booming Persian Gulf city-state, has been keen on overseas investment opportunities. […]

Soros, Google plan $17 million fund to finance SMEs

George Soros’, Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF), Omidyar Network, and Google.org today announced that they were working together to create a $17 million (around Rs 68 crore) Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) investment company for India to create job opportunities and spur greater economic participation for a larger segment of the population. This joint investment company is expected to provide capital to small and medium businesses in underserved markets. Most of the existing SME funds make investments in the $3-$5 million range, leaving out a significant portion of this market. The investment company will target this “missing middle” with equity investments between $500,000 and $3.5 million. Many small to medium businesses lack formal funding options because of a market gap between the microloans offered by microfinance institutions and the larger investments of commercial banks and PE funders, said the press release from Google India. […]

Blackstone picks up 10% in Allcargo for Rs 242 cr

Blackstone has acquired 10.4% stake in logistics major Allcargo Global Logistics (AGL) for Rs 242 crore. The PE major has paid Rs 934 per share, a 30% premium on the last 15-day traded price. AGL is convening a shareholders general meeting on March 19, 2008, to seek their approval. On BSE, the stock of AGL rose 8% to Rs 772.50 on Wednesday. AGL’s CMD Shashi Kiran Shetty said Blackstone could buy shares from the market and increase its stake to a shade below 15%. “We will be utilising these proceeds for the proposed capital expenditure to buy cranes and expand our inland container depot (ICD) business,” said Mr Shetty. The deal involves stake sale through equity shares, fully and compulsorily convertible debentures (FCCDs) and warrants. AGL issued 1,000 equity shares of Rs 10 each at Rs 934/share. It also issued 10.8 lakh FCCDs of Rs 10 each convertible into same number of equity shares on completion of 18 months. AGL also issued 15.13 lakh warrants of Rs 10 each convertible into same number of shares at the option of investors within 18 months. The price range was between Rs 934 and Rs 1,284 per warrant. On subscription, investors would have to pay Rs 194 per warrant. […]