May 2008
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Topsgrup buys UK security firm

Topsgrup, an Indian security services company, today said it bought a British security company for Rs 125 crore and plans to buy a $300 million company in the US. Topsgrup bought a 51 per cent stake in the UK-based Shield Guarding Company, which provides specialised security services to over 350 clients, including Walt Disney, Fujitsu, Nokia and Porsche. ‘'We were losing out on the global tender contracts of these multinationals in India. Shield's clients include some of the biggest brands in the UK. This (stake buy) will also help us grow Shield's business in the UK as we have been doing business with clients such as HSBC for 15 years,'' Rahul Nanda, Global CMD, Topsgrup told Business Standard after announcing the deal in Mumbai. Nanda plans to outsource all the back-end work for Shield, including making uniforms and accounting, to India, and is targeting a saving of Rs 8 crore (1 million pounds) in three years by exploring the synergies. The savings target for the first year is 300,000-40,000 pounds. “The strategic partnership of the two security brands augurs well for the rapidly-growing global security industry, which is estimated to cross the $230 billion mark by 2015,'' said Gerry Paxton, executive chairman of Shield. The UK company had a turnover of Rs 484 crore and profit before tax of Rs 18 crore in 2008-09. [...]

Piramal Life Sciences to further dilute 15-20%

Piramal Life Sciences (PLSL), the recently spun off new drug research arm of pharmaceutical major Nicholas Piramal debuted in the stock exchanges. “Pure drug discovery companies are a new development in India and it will take some time for our investors to realise the worth of such companies,” Ajay Piramal, chairman of Nicholas Piramal told Business Standard. He said the company was planning to dilute about 15-20 per cent of the equity to further infuse capital into PLSL. The company is also exploring various options such as private equity investment in the company, which may happen within the next 12 months, said Piramal. PLSL's strategy would be to take the drugs under development till the final commercialisation stage, than outlicensing the drugs to external parties, he added. [...]

IDFC Plans to Raise Assets to $2 Billion for India Investments

IDFC Private Equity Co., India's largest infrastructure-focused private equity firm, plans to more than triple its assets for investments in roads, ports and power in the world's second-fastest-growing major economy. IDFC Private Equity will secure $700 million from overseas investors for a third fund soon, Luis Miranda, chief executive officer, said in an interview in Mumbai. He expects to raise another fund over the next three months for a combined $2 billion in assets. 3i Group Plc, Deutsche Bank AG and Morgan Stanley are increasing alternative investments in India, where private equity firms raised seven times more than for China in the first quarter. Miranda estimates between $15 billion and $20 billion is being raised as the government woos funds to build the airports and power stations needed to sustain economic growth. IDFC has made investments through two private equity funds, the India Development Fund and the IDFC Private Equity Fund II, that collectively manage $630 million. Miranda and his team have screened 900 proposals since starting IDFC's private equity arm in 2002, he said. The group has invested in just 25, he said. [...]

GMR sells ferro alloys biz to Dubai-based company

The Bangalore based GMR Group with interests in several infrastructure businesses such as airports, energy and highways has sold its ferro alloys business to the Dubai-based Cronimet Mercon Invest Ltd (CMIL) for Rs22.55 crore. The promoters of GMR signed a share purchase agreement with Cronimet on Monday to sell almost their entire holding in GMR Ferro Alloys and Industries Ltd (GFAIL). According to the details of this agreement submitted to Indian stock market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India, or Sebi, the GMR group’s promoters are selling 86.57 lakh shares out of the 87.08 lakh shares they hold in the ferro alloys company. The Dubai entity has agreed to pay Rs26.04 per share to the GMR promoters and will come out with an open offer to the shareholders of GFAIL to acquire 20% holding from them at the same price of Rs26.04 a share in keeping with Indian stock market laws. The ferro alloys company was created by GMR Industries Ltd (GMRIL) by spinning off its metallurgical division in April 2006. GFAIL has a high carbon ferro-chrome manufacturing facility located at Tekkali in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh. [...]