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Novartis raises stake in Indian arm to 76.42%

Swiss drug maker Novartis AG has hiked its stake to 76.42 per cent in its Indian subsidiary Novartis India pursuant to the completion of open offer. Novartis India in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange said that the promoters have acquired 8,147,365 shares, or 25.49 per cent stake, in the company at a price of Rs 450 a piece, aggregating to over Rs 366.63 crore. In March, the Swiss parent had made an open offer for an additional 39 per cent stake in its Indian unit. [...]

Pearson picks stake in 2 Indian Education Companies

Pearson, a leading UK based publisher, has formed 50:50 joint venture with Delhi-based Educomp in order to provide vocational training and acquired 17.2 per cent stake in Bangalore-based e-learning company, TutorVista that provides online tuitions to students of American and European countries. Pearson will acquire a 50 per cent stake in existing vocational institutes of the firm as per agreement. Mr Vivek Govil, President and CEO, Pearson India, said, “As for vocational training, Pearson has content and assessment capabilities. The partnership with Educomp brings execution capabilities.” He said that both acquisitions cost it about Rs 145 crore, while declining to divulge further financial details of deal. [...]

Gemini Comm buys 51% stake in Sanat Tech

Chennai-based Gemini Communication, a wireless networking and Wimax solutions company today said it has acquired a majority stake in Sanat Technologies. The company has joined hands with a Switzerland-based company to float a new company for providing intelligent metering and payment operation solution. In a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) today the company had said that it has acquired a 51 per cent stake in Chennai-based Sanat Technologies. The acquisition would strength Gemini's focus on design, development and marketing of unique product solutions. [...]

Unitech to raise $200 mn for low-cost housing from PE firms

The country's second-largest realty firm, Unitech, is likely to raise $200 million (nearly Rs 1,000 crore) within the next three months by selling stake in its affordable housing projects to private equity players. According to sources, Unitech is in advance stages of negotiations with some domestic and global private equity firms to raise funds for its affordable housing projects being developed under the brand 'Uni Homes'. The company plans to raise $200 million in the next quarter and is currently evaluating proposals received from various private equity (PE) firms, they added. [...]

Tata Steel to up stake in New Millennium to 80%

Tata Steel is likely to raise its stake in Canadian mining company New Millennium Capital Corp (NML) to 80% from 19.9% at present. NML will provide iron ore for the Tata Steel UK. “Tata Steel will increase its stake to 80% in the JV,” a company official told DNA Money. After completion of a feasibility study (expected by the third quarter of 2009) of NML's direct shipping ore (DSO), Tata Steel has the option to raise stake in the company to 80% within 180 days. It will also have a 100% offtake right on the DSO production. [...]

CDC to invest $10 mn in Rabo's agri fund for India

CDC Group PLC, the UK's development finance institution, today committed $10 million (Rs 48 crore) to Rabo Equity Advisor's India Agri Business Fund, CDC's first investment under its new investment policy. Under the new policy, which came into effect on January 1, the lending institution will focus more on investing in the world's poorest countries. Close to 75 per cent of new investments will go to countries, such as India, with an annual gross national income per head of less than $905. The fund will invest in mid-level companies in the agri-business sector across the entire value chain – farming, logistics, production and marketing. [...]

Gemini acquires 51% in Sanat Tech

City-based Gemini Communication, a wireless networking and Wimax solutions company, has acquired a majority stake in Sanat Technologies. In a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange on Friday, the company said it had acquired a 51 per cent stake in Chennai-based Sanat Technologies. The acquisition would strength Gemini’s focus on design, development and marketing of unique product solutions. “We are planning to get into the storage space for sometime. Sanat is a very innovative company and in a very short span has been able to attain a stable position. We are keen to retain and grow its senior management,” Gemini chairman R Ramkumar said. [...]

Foreign investors eye green SMEs

Investors from the US and European countries are keen to invest around Rs 2,000 crore to promote and equip small and medium enterprises engaged in green business, according to New Ventures India (NVI). NVI, set up by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with the World Resources Institute, Washington, acts as a facilitator between the Indian SMEs and foreign investors, who support SMEs operating in environmental or green sectors such as advance technologies for water management, agriculture/organic products, clean technologies, ecotourism, renewable energy, green building materials, among others. [...]

PE players pressurise realtors for exit option

Several private equity (PE) players, global and domestic, whose lock-in period in real estate investments are to end soon, are pressurising developers for an exit route. While some PE players are asking developers to go for an IPO at an SPV or a portfolio level, developers who are wary about going public are approaching other investors or even buying back stakes themselves. Biren Parekh, Partner, (Real Estate), Ernst & Young, said, “Some developers delayed projects to get higher valuations in the booming market. Many PE players, especially at an SPV level, now want to exit and are asking developers for an exit route.” A fund manager with a US-based PE fund agreed, “While some developers delayed projects, time has been running out for us. Some clauses that formed the agreement allow us to persuade developers and ask them to give the returns agreed upon.” [...]

Sobha in talks with PE firms for funds

Real estate major Sobha Developers is in talks with private equity players such as JP Morgan, Actis and IL&FS for selling stakes in some of its projects to raise much-needed fund for the development. The Bangalore-based firm is also planning a qualified institutional placement (QIP) to reduce debt burden by almost Rs 800 crore this fiscal, said sources. The capital raised through QIP is aimed at paying off its debt while roping in financial investors at special purpose vehicle (SPV) level is about kick-starting certain projects with near-term development horizon. Sobha Developers carries a debt of Rs 1,850 crore and the promoters, who hold a 87% stake, may be open to diluting their holding by 26% to raise cash. Sobha is looking to raise up to Rs 1,500 crore via the QIP route in the coming weeks. The exact quantum of the mop-up would be announced soon. [...]