March 2008
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Biyani to buy 70% in Godrej Aadhaar

Kishore Biyani-led Future Group is picking up a 70% stake in Aadhaar, Godrej Group’s rural retailing initiative. Sources said Aadhaar, a part of Godrej Agrovet, will be spun off into a special purpose vehicle. Godrej Group will hold a 30% stake in the entity. The deal, likely to be done through Pantaloon Retail, is likely to be sealed in a fortnight. The Future Group will initially scale up Aadhaar on the lines of ITC’s e-choupal, as a supply-chain of commodities and agri-produce. Aadhaar may also become a distributor of the group’s financial products like consumer finance and insurance in the rural markets. Sources said the move makes sense for the Godrej Group which may not have been able to allocate the kind of investment required to make the rural retailing business commercially viable. For the Future Group, the move dovetails with its ambitious rural retailing plans. […]

PE, VC funds may be deemed FDI

Private equity and overseas venture capital investments in Indian Companies could soon be included in foreign direct investment (FDI) caps for each sector. That’s the proposal of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in a draft paper issued on Monday, which includes several new entities under the definition of FDI. If implemented, it would be another major step to monitor the flow of foreign capital into the country. The broadening of the class of investors under FDI nomenclature comes at a time when there is growing debate over the role of sovereign wealth funds and the influence they wield on economies, globally. […]

Osian`s sells 9.4% stake to PE firm

Osian’s Connoisseurs of Art has signed an agreement to sell an approximately 9.4 per cent stake to Abraaj Capital, Dubai-based private equity firm, for Rs 80 crore. Osian’s valuation, going by this transaction, is Rs 840 crore. Arif Masood Naqvi, vice chairman and group chief executive officer of Abraaj, will join the Osian’s board. Starting with its first auction in 2000, Osian’s, founded by Neville Tuli, has grown into a unique private-sector art institution straddling various sectors of art, films and lately, sports. There is Osian’s archive of visual and textual material which includes rare etchings, lithographs, maps of India, British Indian photography, popular art, cinema publicity material. In 2004, Osian’s acquired film journal Cinemaya, and took over the organising of Cinefan, the film festival. […]