March 2008
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Manipal group to buy 40% in Kerala hospital for Rs 100 cr

The Manipal group is close to acquiring a substantial stake and management control in Kochi-based Lakeshore Hospital, a super-specialty medical centre and a pioneer in medical tourism initiatives. Sources said Manipal is likely to pick up around 40% stake for about Rs 100 crore, thus putting up a tough fight against Thailand’s healthcare tourism major Bumrungrad and at least two private equity players. The deal is yet to be ratified by the board of Lakeshore Hospital, which was originally conceived almost a decade ago by a group of senior medical professionals. It is believed that Manipal Health Systems, a part of Manipal Education and Medical Group (MEMG) which operates a chain of tertiary- and secondary-care hospitals, has emerged as the front-runner to acquire the stake in Lakeshore. Nevertheless, interest from Bangkok-based and public-listed Bumrungrad International shows the growing importance of South India on the medical tourism map. The multi-specialty Lakeshore is one of the few hospitals to have air, water and surface ambulance services. […]

Green Ventures launches $300 mn carbon fund

With the growing attention on climate change and perceptible impact of global warming, the launch of Carbon funds is the order of the day. The latest to join the bandwagon is Green Ventures International, with its $300 million India Carbon Fund I. The fund happens to be the first of its kind in India. It will buy CERs (carbon emission reductions) or carbon credits from companies operating under CDM (clean development mechanism) and then sell them to buyers in Europe. On the other hand, most green funds generally invest in clean-tech companies. The fund has a five-year duration and the LPs (limited partners in the fund) are mostly institutional investors and fund of funds (FoFs) from the US. The Indian LPs have not been roped in, according to Vinay Bharthwaj, director, Green Ventures India, as “there is hardly any awareness in India about such funds and the carbon credit market. So it is better to have informed investors”. However, the fund is in talks with some well-known wealth management companies in India for future investments. It is expecting a return of 25 per cent from this fund and plans to launch another billion dollar fund focussed on the Indian market. […]

Temasek may buy stake in Tata Communications

Tata Communications Ltd may sell a stake in its retail and broadband business to Singapore state investment firm Temasek Holdings , the Mint paper reported on Monday. “Temasek is leading the race for a stake in the new retail business of Tata Communications,” the paper cited a person familiar with the development as saying. Tata Communications will “hold the majority stake in the retail business venture and Temasek will be a financial investor”, it cited the person as saying. Tata Communications and Temasek were “working out the structure of the deal and should conclude it shortly”, it cited the source as saying. Several private equity firms had also held talks about buying a stake, the paper said. […]

ICICI Securities plans pre-IPO sale

Ahead of a proposed initial public offering (IPO), ICICI Securities Ltd, the broking arm of ICICI Bank Ltd, plans to sell about 3% of its equity to institutional investors through private placements, according to a person familiar with the development who did not wish to be identified. The person added that JPMorgan India has been given the mandate to manage the deal. This couldn’t be independently verified with JPMorgan over the weekend and the company did not respond to an email query. S. Mukherjee, managing director and chief executive officer, ICICI Securities, declined to comment. According to the person, the private placement is part of a larger plan that involves selling 10% of ICICI Bank’s equity in ICICI Securities. With 3% going to institutional investors, 7% will be sold to the public through a share sale. The person familiar with the development added that ICICI Bank is looking at a valuation of around Rs18,000 crore for ICICI Securities. This means a 10% sale will fetch it around Rs1,800 crore. In January, the bank’s board approved the listing of ICICI Securities. The bank has five other unlisted subsidiaries: ICICI Prudential Asset Management Co. Ltd, ICICI Ventures, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co. Ltd, ICICI Lombard General Insurance Ltd and ICICI Securities Primary Dealership Ltd. While it could take a few months for the share sale to hit the market, interest in the financial services sector does appear to be rising. […]