July 2009
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BSNL may pick up 15% stake in Essar's Kenya venture

State-owned telecom service provider BSNL plans to pick up a 10-15% stake in Essar Group’s Kenyan subsidiary as it looks to gain a foothold in Africa, one of the fastest-growing telecom markets in the world. The Essar Group, with interests in telecom, shipping, steel, power and oil, holds 80% in Essar Telecom Kenya, while the remaining 20% is held by local shareholders. A BSNL official confirmed that talks are on between the two companies. “Valuations are being discussed. We are doing the due diligence,” the official told ET NOW, requesting anonymity. The Essar Group declined to comment on the development. [...]

Private equity, venture capital deals start gathering pace

Private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) deals in India are seeing an uptrend again. Though the first half of 2009 was dismal overall, the number of such deals and the amount of investment therein has risen in the past couple of months. And if market sources are to be believed, the numbers will only get better going forward. Vikram Utamsingh, head of private equity advisory group at KPMG, believes some funds that were busy adding value to their portfolio companies after the global meltdown are now looking at fresh investments. [...]

Abbott to buy India nutritionals for $130 mln

Abbott Laboratories Inc said it plans to widen its array of nutritional brands in India by paying $130 million for the nutrition businesses of Wockhardt Ltd, certain Wockhardt subsidiaries, and Carol Info Services Ltd. The suburban Chicago healthcare company said the cash deal for the businesses, which have 600 employees, is expected to close in the second half of 2009 and is not expected to affect its full-year profit forecast. Abbott, which has operated in India for a century and has 1,500 employees there, already sells a number of nutritional products in the world's second-most-populous country. They include Abbott's infant formula Isomil, PediaSure for children ages 1 to 13, adult nutrition brand Ensure, and Glucerna nutrition products for diabetics. [...]