August 2008
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Tuscan Ventures invests in LCL Logistix

Tuscan Ventures has concluded an investment in LCL Logistix Pvt. Ltd, formerly LCL Agencies Pvt. Ltd, one of India’s largest freight forwarders and 3PL services provider with 33 offices and 400+ employees. This investment, which gives Tuscan Ventures a 12.45% ownership stake in LCL Logistix for an undisclosed sum, comes in the backdrop of burgeoning trade to and from India and the increasing propensity of the trade to engage professional and experienced service providers to manage their supply chains effectively. […]

Realty-hit PE funds eye ancillary businesses

With the real estate market in a state of flux, private equity investors are increasingly moving their investments to companies engaged in real estate ancillary businesses, where returns are perceived as fairly safe. According to a report by international realty firm Jones Lang LaSalle, global commercial property transaction volumes in the first six months of 2008 have fallen 41 per cent to $236 billion, from the record levels seen in first half of 2007. At least six private equity investors are learnt to be in talks with Pune-based Universal Construction Machinery and Equipment. Mumbai-based Sankalpan Group revealed that three private equity investors are interested in investing in its four subsidiaries. […]

RCom denies Newcastle buyout plans

Anil Ambani group firm Reliance Communications said news reports that it was acquiring the English Premier League club Newcastle United for an estimated 260 million pounds were false and baseless. “The news reports are completely false and baseless. There are no such plans,” Reliance Communications said in a statement. Yesterday, an UK-based tabloid the News of the World had reported that “Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is in talks with Anil Ambani, the sixth richest man in the world and head of Reliance Communications, India's biggest telecom company”. […]

IFC to invest Rs 55 crore in Rockland hospitals

World Bank group member International Finance Corporation on Monday said it will invest Rs 55 crore (14 million dollars) in Delhi-based Rockland Hospitals to support its expansion plans. Rockland Hospitals plans to expand its facility in the national capital and set up a 250-bed hospital in Manesar, Haryana. “IFC will provide 10 million dollars through equity investments and another 4 million dollars in convertible preferred shares to Rockland Hospital,” IFC said in a statement. The project will help broaden access to high-quality health care and good administrative and patient care to common people, it added. […]

PEs, VCs shifting to non-IT sectors: Study

Bio-technology, film production and education are among the five emerging sectors expected to attract an investment of $8.5 billion from private equity and venture capital funds in the next five years, a study has said. The other key sectors identified by the private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) funds are clean technologies and logistics, according to the Assocham-Deloitte study. PEs and VCs are shifting to non-IT areas, where regulatory mechanism is disappearing, it said. “VCs and PEs which for long has been choosing IT for investment purposes, have found huge investment opportunities in above listed areas as regulatory regime in them is gradually disappearing,” Assocham President Sajjan Jindal said. […]

BCCL picks up stake in HOL India

Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd (BCCL) has acquired a stake in House of Laptops (India) Pvt Ltd (HOL), the first integrated showroom for laptops in India. HOL is one of the leading laptop retail stores based in Pune, exclusively working in the mobile computing space with state of the art showrooms and the widest range of laptops and accessories. Currently with four showrooms in Pune, HOL has plans to expand nationwide by 2010. Commenting on the tie-up with BCCL Ashwin Pandit, director, House of Laptops (India) said, “HOL aims to make IT simple. The tie-up with BCCL is a milestone for HOL. In coming years, HOL's focus will be on customer satisfaction and service model for which HOL is coming up with service points at six strategic locations in Pune to begin with.” […]

Aegis to acquire BPO in Philippines for Rs 1,050 crore

Essar group-owned Aegis BPO today said it will acquire Philippines-based BPO, PeopleSupport, for $250 million (around Rs 1,050 crore) in an all-cash deal. The Mumbai-based BPO, which announced a definitive agreement to merge with the latter through Essar Services (Mauritius), its wholly-owned subsidiary, said the deal is expected to be concluded by the third or fourth quarter. The merger, to be called Aegis PeopleSupport in the Philippines, has been unanimously approved by the boards of the respective companies. When completed, the PeopleSupport buy will become Aegis BPO's 11th acquisition in the last two-and-half years. The company recently acquired the call centre facility of global internet firm AOL in Bangalore for about Rs 120 crore. Under the terms of the current agreement, Aegis BPO will pay PeopleSupport stockholders $12.25 per share in cash. […]

General Atlantic eyes stake in Wockhardt Hospitals

U.S. private equity General Atlantic LLC is in talks to buy a 20 percent stake in Wockhardt Hospitals Ltd in a deal valued between $80 million and $100 million, the Financial Express business daily said on Tuesday. Other private equity firms like Blackstone and Carlyle were also in the race for a stake in the hospital chain, but Wockhardt has started final talks with General Atlantic, the paper said citing an unnamed source. Wockhardt Hospitals, which is promoted by the founders of drugmaker Wockhardt Ltd, has been seeking private equity investments since it axed its 25.1-million share initial public offer in February on poor investor response. […]

Balaji in talks with investors to buy Star's stake

Television content provider Balaji Telefilms Ltd. is in talks with a consortium of investors to buy the 25.99 percent stake held by a unit of Rupert Murdoch's Star group, Mint newpaper reported on Tuesday. The stake is owned by Dubai-based Asian Broadcasting FZ-LLC and was bought for 1.23 billion rupees in 2004, the paper said. Balaji will float another joint venture company with these investors to launch a bouquet of regional television channels, the paper said. While Star was “very close” to ending its relationship with Balaji, the formalities were yet to be completed, the paper cited an unnamed official as saying. […]

STAR May Buy Majority Stake In Asianet's TV Channels

STAR India, a unit of News Corp. (NWS), is expected to buy a majority stake in Asianet Entertainment's general entertainment channels, The Economic Times reported, without citing a source. Asianet has two general entertainment channels in the Malayalam language, one in Kannada and one proposed in Telugu, the report said. The deal will be closed once STAR ends its partnership with Balaji Telefilms Ltd. , a local content provider, the report added. Separately, the Mint newspaper reported that Balaji is talking to investors to buy back the 25.99% stake held by STAR in the company. […]