November 2008
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Sahara to buy 51% in Music India

Sahara One Media and Entertainment is in the final lap of negotiations to acquire a 51 per cent stake in Media Worldwide, the company which runs three channels including Music India, Sangeet Bangla and Sangeet Bhojpuri. The enterprise value of Media Worldwide is pegged at around Rs 450 million, according to industry sources.The acquisition of the three channels would expand Sahara's bouquet which includes Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) Sahara One, movie channel Filmy and world TV channel Firangi. The group also runs a clutch of Hindi and city and region-centric news channels. [...]

India and Oman to launch $100 mn joint investment company

India and Oman are expected to soon launch a $100 mn joint investment company on equal partnership basis to facilitate cooperative projects in various sectors through investments. “The potential is very high for expanding business cooperation,” Omanese Ambassador Humaid Al-Maani told here ahead of the long-overdue visit of Singh to his country on Saturday. The two countries have set the two-way non-oil and non-gas trade target of $2 billion by the end of this year, which the Ambassador said could be raised in view of the existing potential. [...]

RBI opens doors to 10 VCFs amid liquidity crunch

The Reserve Bank of India, which has been holding back applications of several foreign venture capital funds (VCFs) for a few years, is slowly opening the doors to these investors — a decision which could be partly driven by the dollar shortage following the FII outflow. During the last fortnight, the central bank has cleared proposals of as many as 10 foreign VCFs which are adequately capitalised. Many VCFs were setting up entities in Mauritius with only a few thousand dollars as the overseas investors in the funds were reluctant to park the money in Mauritius before the regulatory clearance. This was unacceptable to RBI. Indeed, RBI had returned more than 16 foreign VCF applications to Sebi citing ‘under-capitalisation’ as the reason. After this, several foreign VC funds began capitalising the investment company before approaching the financial sector regulators. Sources said Sebi has already issued the in-principle approval to 10 applicants. However, while clearing the cases, RBI has inserted a new clause, which restricts investments by these foreign funds to certain sectors, similar to those prescribed under the Income Tax Act for availing of a tax pass-through for Sebi-registered VCFs. [...]

Daiichi Sankyo Completes Purchase of 63.9% of Ranbaxy

Daiichi Sankyo Co., Japan's third- biggest drugmaker, completed its acquisition of a controlling stake in India's Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. to expand in the faster-growing market for generic medicines. The Japanese drugmaker owns 268.7 million shares, or 63.9 percent, the companies said today in a statement to the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Chief Executive Officer Takashi Shoda, 60, agreed in June to acquire control of Ranbaxy for as much as 198 billion rupees ($4.1 billion) to enter the market for generic drugs, where sales are growing almost twice as fast as demand for branded medicines. [...]

Plethico to pick up 20% in UAE pharma retail co

Herbal and nutritional products maker Plethico Pharmaceuticals is picking up around 20% stake in a UAE-based pharma retail chain with operations in the CIS region for around $20-22 million. If the deal goes through, it will be also the first overseas acquisition by an Indian company in the pharma retail space. While the details of the deal are not known, industry sources say the Indian company has been in talks with several retail chains and finally zeroed down on a privately-held firm which has around 300-350 stores across the CIS countries. This will help Plethico to sell its over 1,000 products directly across almost all the CIS countries. [...]