May 2008
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Sterlite Ind to buy Asarco for $2.6 bln

Sterlite Industries on Saturday agreed to buy the operating assets of bankrupt copper miner Asarco for $2.6 billion, the latest in the series of overseas acquisitions by Indian firms. Tuscon-based Asarco, the third largest copper maker in U.S. had total revenue of $1.9 billion in 2007, Sterlite, a unit of Vedanta Resources Plc said in a statement. “Asarco is a strategic fit with Sterlite's existing copper business,” the Indian firm said in the statement. On Friday a lawyer close to the deal had told Reuters in New York that Vedanta had signed a $2.6 billion deal to buy the assets of Asarco. Asarco, formerly known as American Smelting and Refining Co, produced 235,000 tonnes of refined copper in 2007 and its mines have an estimated reserve of 5 million tonnes of contained copper. It filed for bankruptcy protection in 2005 after it was sued for $1 billion over environmental and asbestos claim. Sterlite, is India's top non-ferrous metals and mining firm with interests in aluminium, copper, zinc and lead. […]

Sujana Metal acquires Saritha Steels, Glade Steels and Sree Ganga Steel

Sujana Metal Products Limited has announced the acquisition of 3 steel units namely Saritha Steels, Glade Steels and Sree Ganga Steels. Mr YS Chowdary chairman of Sujana Group of companies said that “These acquisitions will enable Sujana Metals to cater the fastest growing realty and infrastructure markets in southern part of India.” The latest acquisitions by Sujana Metals are in line with the company's strategy to enhance the capacity to 1 million tonnes per annum by 2010 through acquisitions and expansion plans. It had earlier acquired Kamini Steels and Handum Industries. […]

Emami acquires 27.5% in Zandu, open offer soon

The Emami Group has acquired 27.51% stake in ayurvedic products major Zandu Pharmaceutical Works, taking its total stake in the company to over 31.41%. An open offer will follow the acquisition. The personal care products firm may not be done yet: it is looking at more buyouts both in the domestic as well as international markets. Harsh V Agarwal, director, Emami Group, told DNA Money that talks are on with at least 3-4 more companies. “We are interested in the personal care, household and healthcare sectors.” Emami already held a 3.9% stake in Zandu. On May 28, the company acquired another 14.81% stake and on Friday, topped this up by buying 12.7% from one of the promoter groups. That makes it mandatory for Emami to make an offer for 20% according to the Securities and Exchange Board of India regulations. […]

Carzonrent eyes $25-40m PE funding

Carzonrent India, the top Indian franchisee of the world’s largest car rental company Hertz, is expected to close a $25-40 million private equity deal over the next three months to fund its expansion plans, its chief executive Rajiv Vij said on Friday. Carzonrent, which operates radio taxi service under the Easy Cabs brand, is planning to more than quadruple its fleet size to 30,000 by 2010. It has lined up investments of over Rs 100 crore for this year. In two earlier rounds of fundraising, the company raised $7.5 million in private equity from Citigroup and Sequoia Capital. It is the largest personal ground transportation company in India with a fleet of 7,000 vehicles. Carzonrent operates radio taxis, chauffeured and self-driven cars, and leased fleet for corporates. Easy Cabs began from Chandigarh two years ago with 50 cars. Today, it has expanded to Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad with a total of 1,400 cars. […]

Topsgrup buys UK security firm

Topsgrup, an Indian security services company, today said it bought a British security company for Rs 125 crore and plans to buy a $300 million company in the US. Topsgrup bought a 51 per cent stake in the UK-based Shield Guarding Company, which provides specialised security services to over 350 clients, including Walt Disney, Fujitsu, Nokia and Porsche. ‘'We were losing out on the global tender contracts of these multinationals in India. Shield's clients include some of the biggest brands in the UK. This (stake buy) will also help us grow Shield's business in the UK as we have been doing business with clients such as HSBC for 15 years,'' Rahul Nanda, Global CMD, Topsgrup told Business Standard after announcing the deal in Mumbai. Nanda plans to outsource all the back-end work for Shield, including making uniforms and accounting, to India, and is targeting a saving of Rs 8 crore (1 million pounds) in three years by exploring the synergies. The savings target for the first year is 300,000-40,000 pounds. “The strategic partnership of the two security brands augurs well for the rapidly-growing global security industry, which is estimated to cross the $230 billion mark by 2015,'' said Gerry Paxton, executive chairman of Shield. The UK company had a turnover of Rs 484 crore and profit before tax of Rs 18 crore in 2008-09. […]

Piramal Life Sciences to further dilute 15-20%

Piramal Life Sciences (PLSL), the recently spun off new drug research arm of pharmaceutical major Nicholas Piramal debuted in the stock exchanges. “Pure drug discovery companies are a new development in India and it will take some time for our investors to realise the worth of such companies,” Ajay Piramal, chairman of Nicholas Piramal told Business Standard. He said the company was planning to dilute about 15-20 per cent of the equity to further infuse capital into PLSL. The company is also exploring various options such as private equity investment in the company, which may happen within the next 12 months, said Piramal. PLSL's strategy would be to take the drugs under development till the final commercialisation stage, than outlicensing the drugs to external parties, he added. […]

IDFC Plans to Raise Assets to $2 Billion for India Investments

IDFC Private Equity Co., India's largest infrastructure-focused private equity firm, plans to more than triple its assets for investments in roads, ports and power in the world's second-fastest-growing major economy. IDFC Private Equity will secure $700 million from overseas investors for a third fund soon, Luis Miranda, chief executive officer, said in an interview in Mumbai. He expects to raise another fund over the next three months for a combined $2 billion in assets. 3i Group Plc, Deutsche Bank AG and Morgan Stanley are increasing alternative investments in India, where private equity firms raised seven times more than for China in the first quarter. Miranda estimates between $15 billion and $20 billion is being raised as the government woos funds to build the airports and power stations needed to sustain economic growth. IDFC has made investments through two private equity funds, the India Development Fund and the IDFC Private Equity Fund II, that collectively manage $630 million. Miranda and his team have screened 900 proposals since starting IDFC's private equity arm in 2002, he said. The group has invested in just 25, he said. […]

GMR sells ferro alloys biz to Dubai-based company

The Bangalore based GMR Group with interests in several infrastructure businesses such as airports, energy and highways has sold its ferro alloys business to the Dubai-based Cronimet Mercon Invest Ltd (CMIL) for Rs22.55 crore. The promoters of GMR signed a share purchase agreement with Cronimet on Monday to sell almost their entire holding in GMR Ferro Alloys and Industries Ltd (GFAIL). According to the details of this agreement submitted to Indian stock market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India, or Sebi, the GMR group’s promoters are selling 86.57 lakh shares out of the 87.08 lakh shares they hold in the ferro alloys company. The Dubai entity has agreed to pay Rs26.04 per share to the GMR promoters and will come out with an open offer to the shareholders of GFAIL to acquire 20% holding from them at the same price of Rs26.04 a share in keeping with Indian stock market laws. The ferro alloys company was created by GMR Industries Ltd (GMRIL) by spinning off its metallurgical division in April 2006. GFAIL has a high carbon ferro-chrome manufacturing facility located at Tekkali in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh. […]

Baring Asia picks up 12% in retail brokerage Sharekhan

Citi Venture had to offload its stake in the brokerage due to regulatory issues. Baring Asia has picked up 12 per cent stake in Sharekhan at a price that values the retail brokerage at Rs 1,700 crore, which is more than double its last year's valuation of Rs 825 crore, when the promoters Morakhias were looking at exiting their investments in the company. The company has acquired 10 per cent stake from Citigroup Venture Capital International (CVCI), the private equity arm of Citigroup in India Deholdings (CVCI's intermediary vehicle registered in Mauritius) and 2 per cent through a convertible instrument from Sharekhan. Last year, in one of the hotly-contested deals, CVCI had picked up a majority stake in Sharekhan. However, due to regulatory issues, it was required to bring down its holding in the intermediary vehicle to below 50 per cent within six months. […]

3i plans buyouts, lines up Rs 2,000 cr

The UK-listed private equity group, 3i, has lined up a $500 million (Rs 2,000 crore) equity investment in India for the current financial year. The group is exploring deals in infrastructure, oil and gas, healthcare and power, among others. The company, which till now was buying minority stakes in Indian companies, is now planning buyouts for the first time in the country since 2005. “We may conclude seven to eight deals in this financial year with a minimum investment of $500 million. We will increase the investments if the right opportunity comes up. About half of the investments planned will go to the infrastructure sector,” said Anil Ahuja, the managing director and co-head of 3i's Asian operations. For the buyouts, 3i plans to team up with four banks, including two foreign banks, to raise debt. The banks are likely to finance two-thirds of the investments in 3i's buyouts, Ahuja told Business Standard. […]