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Koor to buy 10 pct in India's Tata Tele for up to $720 mln

Israeli investment firm Koor Industries Ltd. intends to buy a 10-percent stake in pan-India cellular operator Tata Tele Services Ltd. for $577 million to $720 million, the Economic Times reported. The report said Koor, a group company of Israel's largest cellular operator Cellcom, has submitted an initial letter of intent (LoI) regarding the investment with the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. In the LoI, Koor said it is considering acquisition of a 'substantial minority interest in the communications company' and the process was 'preliminary', the report said, adding that investment bankers peg this stake at 10 percent. According to unnamed sources, Tata Group is looking at equity dilution in TTSL, but will retain majority control with a 51 percent stake, said the report. A company spokesperson declined to comment. [...]

ADB to promote clean energy through PE funds

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is going to help develop clean energy projects in Asia including India. With an initial seed capital of $100 million, ADB will help establish five private sector funds, which are expected to invest around $1.2 billion in such projects across Asia. The funds – MAP Clean Energy Fund, China Environment Fund III, GEF South Asia Clean Energy Fund, Asia Clean Energy Fund, and China Clean Energy Capital – will each receive up to $20 million in capital from ADB. GEF South Asia Clean Energy Fund has a target size of $200 million and will make around 12 investments across South Asia in companies and projects that promote the use of efficient and cleaner forms of energy in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The fund is jointly sponsored by India’s Yes Bank and an international private equity firm, Global Environment Fund. [...]

Lodha Group sells stake in Hyderabad project for $54 mln

Indian real estate developer Lodha Group said on Thursday it has sold 45 percent stake in a residential-cum-commercial project at Hyderabad, to HDFC Sponsored Funds for $54 million. The Mumbai-focused company plans to develop a 2.5-million sq ft luxury township in Hyderabad, its first project in the south Indian city. Last year, it had acquired 12.9 acres of land there, for 2.56 billion rupees. The project is to be completed in 42 months. HDFC Sponsored Funds comprise offshore funds sponsored and advised by HDFC Ventures, the company said. The deal would be through the foreign direct investment route. [...]

Pearson sells stake in India's Business Standard

Financial Times publisher Pearson has sold its 13.85 percent stake in Indian business daily Business Standard for an undisclosed sum, the Indian newspaper said on Friday. The stake was sold to Infina Finance Pvt Ltd, an associate of India's Kotak Mahindra Group, it said. Business Standard and the FT have “realigned the licence agreement … whereby Business Standard will continue to have access to FT content till the end of the year”, the paper said in a note on its front page. Pearson, whose India business also includes Penguin Books and Pearson Education, said recently it would significantly increase investment in the fast-growing economy over the next three years. Revenue for newspapers in India grew 17 percent in 2007, according to estimates by PricewaterHouseCoopers, and some local media reports have indicated that Pearson may seal a deal with a new venture partner for its Financial Times daily. Foreign firms can own up to 26 percent in Indian newspapers. (Reuters) [...]

GMR Energy Acquires 5% Stake In South African Coal Firm

GMR Infrastructure has announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary GMR Energy (GEL) has acquired 5 percent equity stake in South Africa’s Homeland Mining and Energy SA (Pty) Ltd, a unit of Canada’s Homeland Energy Group Ltd. GEL has paid Rs 60 crore ($15 million) for the 5 percent stake in the company. Further GEL has an option to purchase an additional 45 percent in the same company by September 2008 for $145 million. In this way, the total payout for the 50 percent stake is $155 million (approx. Rs 620 crore). In a statement, GMR Infrastructure said, “This acquisition would ensure fuel security for GMR group's power projects in India and such a transaction also acts as a catalyst in the development of the energy business of the Group.” [...]

Arab world to invest $150 billion in India

Indian companies have identified 69 projects worth over 150 billion dollars in areas of real estate, healthcare, education and tourism for investment from Arab countries. The proposals would be discussed at the two-day India-Arab Investment Projects Conclave beginning on Friday, organised by industry body FICCI and to be attended by CEOs of over 100 companies from 13 Arab countries. “There is interest across Arab countries to invest in India's infrastructure, real estate, transportation, healthcare, education, IT and agro-processing sectors,” FICCI Secretary General Amit Mitra said in a release. [...]