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RBI questions SBI's plan to invest in PEs

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) deputy governor Shyamala Gopinath has put a question mark on three investment proposals of the State Bank of India (SBI) relating to its exposure in private equity companies, two of which are aimed at floating real estate funds. Sources said Ms Gopinath, who is the RBI nominee on the board of the country’s largest bank, had expressed her reservations about the proposed investments. The entities, which SBI has identified for investment are Sage Capital, promoted by Manish Kanchan, Unitech’s Unitech Realty Investors, and South Asian Real Estate (SARE), promoted by Anuj Gupta, an NRI. Sources said Unitech and SARE proposals were approved internally by the SBI investment committee. However, when the bank circulated the proposal papers among board members as an agenda for a subsequent board meeting, Ms Gopinath voiced her concerns. The question, however, remains as to why the RBI deputy governor had objected to the proposed investments. […]

India RCom, SAfrica MTN agree 'broad contours' of deal

Reliance Communications and South Africa's MTN have agreed “broad contours” of a deal to create a global telecoms powerhouse but are still working out share swap details, a report said Monday.RCom, which has 48 million subscribers, is valued at 28 billion dollars while MTN, which has 68 million subscribers in 21 markets in Africa and the Middle East, is valued at 38 billion. Analysts expect any deal to offer a premium of over 20 percent which would value MTN at over 45 billion dollars. Under a deal, RCom would become the largest single shareholder in MTN and the South African giant would be the biggest holding company of the Indian telecoms firm, India's leading financial daily the Economic Times said. “Both parties are learnt to have agreed on the broad contours of the deal,” the newspaper said, basing its report on unidentified sources. A spokesman for Reliance Communications (RCom), India's second largest mobile firm, declined to comment on the possible tie-up, which would create an 116 million subscriber base, eclipsing most Western mobile phone businesses.Ambani wanted 66 MTN shares for 100 RCom shares while MTN was seeking 51 MTN shares for 100 Reliance Shares, the report said, adding a top RCOM team was at MTN's headquarters in Johannesburg and was due back Tuesday.But Ambani would join the MTN board as either chairman or co-chairman. MTN CEO Phuthuma Nhelco was expected to keep his current role, according to the report. […]

Link Group acquires Intime Spectrum

Leading Australian-based registry & financial services company Link Group (“Link”) and Intime Spectrum Registry Ltd., (“Intime”) announced that they have agreed to join forces in order to tap the growing potential in the Share Registry market in India. Link proposes to acquire a majority stake in Intime (subject to Regulatory approval) , and thereafter Intime will be known as Link Intime. Intime has been No. 1 in terms of number of IPO's handled during the last 3 fiscal years, and serves over 850 companies in the share registry space. Head quartered in Mumbai, Intime operates in 7 other major cities across India. Mr John McMurtrie, Managing Director of Link said “Intime is a very well managed and successful Registry business. We believe we can together build on this success, including by providing additional services to clients”. […]

Sadbhav Engineering acquires Hong Kong mining company

Sadbhav Engineering Ltd, which is into mineral prospecting and infrastructure development, has acquired a 74 percent stake in the Hong Kong-based mining company Ocean Bright Corporation Limited (OBCL), a move that gives it entry into Africa. Gujarat-headquartered Sadbhav made the acquisition through a wholly-owned subsidiary, Sadbhav Natural Resources Pvt.Ltd. OBCL, directly and through its subsidiaries, holds complete prospecting rights in three provinces in Mozambique; it can prospect for ore and copper (spread over 24,400 hectares in Tete province), limestone (over an area of similar size in Nampula), and coal (over 5,230 hectares) in Manica. “The acquisition has paved the way for us to enter mining in Mozambique,” Sadbhav chairman Vishnu Patel said. The Mozambique government is now considering a new application from OBCL for prospecting coal in Niassa province. […]

Cadila to buy South African drug company

Drugmaker Zydus Cadila on Monday announced it will acquire 70 per cent stake in South Africa's Simayla Pharmaceuticals for an undisclosed amount. It will be the second buy by Cadila, India's fourth-largest pharmaceutical company, in less than a fortnight. 'South Africa has been one of our key focus markets and Simayla's expertise and promising growth will unlock value for us as we look to consolidate and grow our business in this market rapidly,' Cadila Chairman Pankaj Patel said in a statement. The remaining 30 per cent stake will be held by the promoter of the Simayla Pharmaceutical, Ben Classen, who would continue to head the company's operations, Cadila informed the Bombay Stock Exchange in a filing. The acquisition will be carried out through its wholly-owned subsidiary Zydus Healthcare SA Pty Ltd. […]

AXIS PE announces two investment worth Rs1420mn

Axis Private Equity Limited, (AXIS PE), a company set up by Axis Bank to manage private equity funds has announced two significant investments of Rs. 750mn (USD 19 Mn) and 670mn (USD 17 Mn) in Neesa Leisure Limited (Neesa Leisure) and Corrtech International Private Limited (“Corrtech”) respectively. These investments further reaffirm Axis PE’s commitment to invest in companies involved in infrastructure development of the nation i.e. hospitality, railways, development of oil and gas pipelines, water supply and sanitation.This comes close after Axis PE announced investment of Rs 12mn (USD 30 Mn) in Harish Chandra (India) Ltd. earlier this month “We are very pleased to announce the closure of these investments. Both these investments fall in line with our vision and mission of investing in high growth potential sectors. We have been actively exploring investment opportunities in the oil and gas infrastructure space and believe that Corrtech has immense potential to be a key player in the oil and gas pipeline business,” says Alok Gupta, MD & CEO, Axis PE […]

Renold eyes 75% stake in LG Balakrishnan

Automotive engineering major Renold Plc today said it is in talks with Indian firm LG Balakrishnan & Bros for acquiring 75 per cent stake in its industrial chain business for an undisclosed amount. In a regulatory filing made to the London Stock Exchange, the company said “.. It is in discussions to acquire a 75 per cent interest in the industrial chain business of LG Balakrishnan & Bros Ltd (LGB).” The remaining 25 per cent stake in the business would be retained by LGB, which is listed on Indian bourses, the filing added. LGB would provide an established manufacturing base and sales distribution network. “This network would enable Renold to promote its existing product range into India's rapidly growing market place as well as exploit new product, market and export opportunities,” the filing said. […]

TCIL to raise Rs50-75 crore to spur warehousing, realty businesses

Transport Corp. of India Ltd (TCIL) is planning to raise Rs50-75 crore by selling shares to a select group of investors before the end of the year as the company expands its warehousing operations and ventures into the real estate business.Selling shares to a select group under a deal known as private placement does not have to be registered with the market regulator. Investors involved in such transactions are usually banks, mutual funds, insurance firms and other financial companies. The Gurgaon-based company is acquiring land for constructing warehouses across the country to tap opportunities in the retail and agriculture sector. It also plans to develop a part of its land bank in Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore for commercial and residential projects, and is setting up a team with expertise in real estate development. TCIL, which manages 7.5 million sq.ft. of warehousing space in India, has already acquired land Chennai, Mumbai, Nagpur and New Delhi and has started construction in Pune. “We have earmarked about Rs200 crore to expand warehousing capacity,” said Vineet Aggarwal, executive director of the company. […]

Spice Comm merger talks on, Batelco in fray

Talks between the promoters of Indian mobile phone services firm Idea Cellular Ltd, smaller rival Spice Communications Ltd and its foreign partner Telekom Malaysia Bhd over a merger or sell-out are progressing, one person close to the situation said, even as a new suitor, Bahrain-based Bahrain Telecommunications Co. or Batelco, has entered discussions in a deal that will pare fully or in part the 40% stake held by the B.K. Modi family in Spice. “Telekom Malaysia and Idea are engaged in talks, and Spice has not got the offer yet. All the three companies are looking into their valuations post the deal. In case Telekom Malaysia and Idea strike a deal, (the promoters of) Spice will exit the mobile phone service business,” this person said, asking not to be identified. “Nothing has happened so far, an announcement will not happen before Tuesday or Wednesday.” Telekom Malaysia owns 39.3% in Spice; the rest is held by public shareholders and institutions. Yusof Annuar Yaacob, executive director and group chief financial officer of Telekom Malaysia, said on the telephone from Kuala Lumpur that he had no specific comment on the stage the talks were in. […]

Arch Pharma buys Benzochem for Rs 100 cr

Private equity-controlled Arch Pharmalabs has acquired a controlling stake in Benzochem Lifesciences, an active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) maker, for around Rs 100 crore. Sources said Arch would buy around 70% stake in Benzochem Lifesciences while the balance 30% will remain with the promoters of Benzochem. When contacted, Arch Pharmalabs CMD Ajit Kamath declined to comment. Benzochem is a privately-held company engaged in API manufacturing for oncology and anti-malarial drug segment. The company has a FDA-compliant manufacturing facility in Tarapur. Benzochem has also filed drug master file (DMF) application for all anti-cancer APIs. The company closed the last financial year with a top line of around Rs 150 crore. […]