September 2009
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Koutons Plans to Raise Funds Via Share Sale

Koutons Retail India Ltd. is looking to raise 1.20 billion rupees ($24.7 million)-1.50 billion rupees by the end of December through a share sale to fund expansion and reduce debt. The apparel retailer may raise the funds via a private equity deal or a qualified institutional placement, Chairman D.P.S. Kohli told Dow Jones Newswires recently. Plans will be firmed up by the end of this month, he added. Koutons Retail's fundraising plans come at a time when several Indian retailers are talking of expansion after closing hundreds of nonviable stores in the past one year when sales slumped due to the economic slowdown. [...]

GE India in Acquisition Talks

General Electric (GE) is in talks to acquire several Indian firms in sectors such as healthcare, energy, transportation equipment and infrastructure, as the $183-billion conglomerate looks to expand beyond the US and Europe, its key markets that are affected by the global economic downturn. “We are bullish on the India story and have a dedicated research team that is working on deals across sectors in India and overseas. We hope to close some of them in the next few months,” said GE India CEO Tejpreet Chopra. GE is going ahead with investment plans in its existing businesses such as healthcare, water, energy, aviation, rail and financial services. The firm is looking at partnering firms across sectors to leverage their knowledge and technology-sharing know-how. [...]

IDBI Capital Seeks Bids for Stake in National Stock Exchange of India

An investor in the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd. is offering a stake in the country’s largest bourse for sale, according to an advertisement posted on the stakeholder’s behalf by IDBI Capital Market Services Ltd. A client of IDBI Capital plans to sell 384,798 shares in the Mumbai-based company, according to the posting in the Economic Times newspaper today. The last date for submitting bids is Sept. 22, it said. R. Swaminathan, a vice president in the institutional business group at IDBI Capital, declined to name the seller or provide more details when contacted today. The National Stock Exchange sold a 5 percent stake in January 2007 to NYSE Group Inc. for $115 million, valuing the bourse at $2.3 billion. [...]

Foreign investors to pick up 55% stake in Haldia solar complex

Overseas investors are picking up around 55% in the integrated solar complex coming up at Haldia in West Bengal at an investment of around Rs 5,000 crore. Singapore-based International Solar, a clean energy investor, is in the process of taking 25% in the project while another 30% is being picked up by American and German funds which invest in clean energy. Domestic player Srei Finance is also in talks to pick up 20% in the project, while the balance 25% will be held by the promoters — Bhaskar Silicon, an independent company set up by the Indian arm of Singapore-based Environ Energy. The venture, said to be India's first poly-silicon project, will have the capacity to generate 250 megawatt (mw) of solar power on its completion. [...]

LIC Housing Finance raising up to $136 mn in QIP

LIC Housing Finance is raising up to $136 million through a share sale to institutional investors at a discount of 1.9 to 3.4 percent to its Tuesday closing price, according to a person with direct knowledge of the deal. The company was selling 10 million shares in a qualified institutional placement (QIP) offering at 650 to 660 rupees each in a deal handled by Citigroup, Enam Securities, Kotak Securities, and Nomura, the person said. LIC Housing shares rose 1.92 percent on Tuesday to close at 673 rupees. The deal was set to be completed before the start of trading on Wednesday. (ET) [...]

PE players see opportunity in infrastructure

A majority of large private equity (PE) players are gearing up to raise fresh funds for investing in the infrastructure sector. According to a survey of the leading PE firms conducted by management consultancy Ernst & Young and industry body Asscoham, 84 per cent of the PE firms said that they found the present environment conducive to raise infrastructure-focused funds. “Investors are taking a long and hard look at their asset allocations and setting the wheels in motion for a change,” said Kuljit Singh, partner and transactions advisory leader for infrastructure, Ernst & Young. “In this process infrastructure has emerged as an asset class with long-term growth prospect providing relatively stable returns,” he added. [...]