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M&M arm buys Italian two-wheeler design co

Mahindra & Mahindra’s (M&M) component arm Systech has acquired a controlling stake in Italian design firm Engines Engineering (EE) for an undisclosed amount. The Bologna-based firm, with annual revenues of about $12 million, develops motorcycle prototypes and two-wheeler designs. The acquisition further underscores reports that the Mahindras are interested in the growing two-wheeler market. ET had recently reported that the Anand Mahindra-led company, that is a market leader in tractors and sports-utility vehicles, has been talking to Indian and overseas players to shape its two-wheeler plans. The company is reportedly keen on high-end Italian design companies MV Agusta and Cagiva, while also showing more than a passing interest in Kinetic Motors and China’s Lifan. “Demand for offshoring of engineering services has been growing rapidly…acquiring this design house provides us the perfect vehicle to penetrate markets like Europe, China and Russia,” said Hemant Luthra, president of M&M’s components unit Systech. “Now that we have a design house in Italy, we will look for one in Germany to further penetrate the European markets, he added. […]

Piramal Life looks to sell 9-10% to PE companies

The Indian arm of UK-based Actis Advisers Pvt. Ltd and India’s ICICI Venture Funds Management Co. Ltd are among the handful of private equity firms eyeing a minority stake in Piramal Life Sciences Ltd, the recently demerged drug research company of Nicholas Piramal India Ltd, a person close to developments at the company said. “There are quite a few investment companies already in talks with us, but nothing has been concluded,” said Swati Piramal, a director with Nicholas Piramal. The Mumbai-based Piramal family, which holds a 58% stake in Piramal Life, is expected to sell a 9-10% interest in the company. “The company will engage a merchant banker by next week to handle the transaction,” the person close to the developments added, asking that he not be identified. Based on potential drug compounds it is developing, Piramal Life is valued at around $500 million (about Rs2,025 crore) by finance companies such as Lehman Brothers, Enam Securities Pvt. Ltd and Kotak Securities Ltd. In March, Piramal group chairman Ajay Piramal had said the new research company would bring in a strategic investor after it listed on the bourses. […]

PE firm Zephyr invests in Miles Software

New York-based PE firm Zephyr Peacock, which has around $1 billion under management globally, has invested in Miles Software, an IT company providing solutions to the financial services sector. The details of the investment were not known. Zephyr’s India MD Mukul Gulati said the private equity firm was bullish on financial services and education in India. “We believe the current downturn in the financial services is temporary. In long run, we are very bullish on the prospects for financial services in India,” said Mr Gulati. The firm is raising an India-dedicated fund from which most of its investments will be made. […]

Mirae Asset eyes private equity play

Korean financial services giant Mirae Asset Financial Group is planning to enter the investment banking, wealth management and private equity segments in the country. Mirae Asset Financial Group chairman Hyeon-Joo Park said that the company recently launched its asset management business in India. “We are now preparing to launch our securities business in the country,” Park said, adding that Mirae was not eyeing the brokerage space. He refused to put a figure to the proposed investment into India. The group has been exploring an inorganic entry into India through an acquisition. “But we have not been able to find a suitable company,” said Park. Real estate too was on Mirae’s radar but regulations in India are dissuading the Korean company. “If the government of India softened the regulations, we would like to invest in real estate,” Park added. […]

Reliance ADAG in talks to acquire Spicejet

A local media report said that Reliance ADAG was keen on acquiring stake in the airline, in which Tata Group has minority interest. The third largest listed private airline operator by sales had underperformed the market over the past one-month till 5 June 2008, declining 24.97% compared to the Sensex’s decline of 9.05%. It had also underperformed the market in the past one quarter, declining 42.49% compared to Sensex’s decline of 1.29%. The company’s current equity is Rs 240.65 crore. Face value per share is Rs 10. Vijay Mallya-promoted Kingfisher Airlines and the countrys largest private sector carrier Jet Airways are also said to be in fray for picking up a stake in SpiceJet. SpiceJet, which just completed three years of operations, is valued at around Rs 755 crore, according to its market capitalisation. Anil Ambani had also evinced interest last year to buy a controlling stake in Deccan Aviation. Rising aviation turbine fuel (ATF) prices will hit airlines. Airlines re suffering huge losses and they cannot pass the entire burden (of jet fuel price rise) on users as it negatively affected the number of passengers carried by them. […]

Telekom Malaysia to gain mgmt control of Spice Comm

Telekom Malaysia will gain the management control of Spice Communications, reports CNBC-TV18, quoting sources. The Spice promoters – the Modis may exit or retain a marginal stake, sources add. Idea will pick up a stake in Spice and eventually merge Spice with Idea, they say. Earlier, CNBC-TV18 had learnt that BK Modi had said in the AGM that took place on Monday, that Telekom Malaysia was actually considering upping its stake in Spice Communications all the way up to 74%. Now does that actually indicate that the Modis are willing to exit because what CNBC-TV18 understands from the sources is that the Modis may actually exit the venture altogether and IDEA Cellular will come in as an Indian partner. And if that happens, then will Spice Communications be merged with IDEA – there is still no clarity as far as the M&A regulations are concerned and also as far as price is concerned because BK Modi had gone on record at that AGM to say that nothing less than Rs 60 per share would be agreeable to them and what we understand from our sources is that they are looking at over Rs 90 per share and what they are being offered at this point in time is a little over Rs 70 per share. CNBC-TV18 has learnt from sources that Telecom Malaysia will now gain management control of Spice Communication. The promoters of Spice and BK Modi will exit or retain marginal stake. […]

Trikona Capital announces $150 million deal with SachsenFonds

Trikona Capital Ltd., the leading fund management firm for institutional investment in Indian real estate and infrastructure, announced it has extended its relationship with SachsenFonds Holdings GmbH, a German fund manager with $7.5 billion under management, in a $150 million deal that includes minority stakes of current Trikona assets and investments in new projects. Trikona's divestments earned a return on capital of 115%. Trikona laid the foundation for this partnership last December when it sold assets in the portfolio of Trikona's London Stock Exchange-listed fund Trikona Trinity Capital PLC (LSE: TRC) to SachsenFonds for nearly $65 million, a return of 108% for Trikona. As part of the $150 million deal, Sachsen will join Trikona as co-investors in a $40 million investment in Mumbai to refurbish four acres of middle-class housing and build high-end luxury homes as part of Trikona's urban rejuvenation platform. Sachsen will contribute 55% of the investment cost. […]