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NALCO Likely To Acquire 51% Stake In Tajikistan's Talco

National Aluminium Company Ltd., or Nalco, a public sector enterprise of Government of India and the second largest aluminium producer, is likely to acquire 51% stake in Tajik Aluminium Company or Talco, a primary aluminium producer owned by the Tajikistan Government, for undisclosed sum, according to media reports. Sources said in a statement that NALCO has approached the Government with the proposal and awaits its approval. Sources added that the matter is also under consideration of the Tajik Government. Once the deal materializes, it will see the combine emerging as one of the world's top-three aluminium producers with an output of 8,00,000 metric tonnes or MT, the release stated. Talco located in Tursunzoda, a city in western Tajikistan, runs the largest aluminium manufacturing plant in central Asia and is one of Tajikistan's largest enterprises. In 2006, Talco produced 416,000 MT of aluminium. […]

Clearwater invests $50 mn in power equipment park

New York-based Clearwater Capital Partners on Thursday said it has invested USD 50 million (nearly Rs 200 crore) in a power equipment park that would be developed by Diamond Power Infrastructure Ltd at Vadala. Clearwater has so far invested USD 500 million in 39 companies across India, which it considers a safe investment destination due to its legal framework that is absent in China, company's Managing Partner Robert Petty said here. He hoped to invest in more companies after operationalising of Indo-US nuclear deal. He said Clearwater currently manages 1.7 billion USD in assets across four funds and boasts of 86 team members across eight locations, including New York, Beijing, Hanoi, Hongkong, Mumbai, Munich, Seoul and Singapore. […]

Kingfisher, SpiceJet May Swap Shares 1:3

Kingfisher Airlines Ltd., is close to finalizing a share-swap deal with New Delhi-based low cost carrier SpiceJet Ltd., the Business Standard newspaper said, without saying where it got the information. SpiceJet's stockholders are expected to get one share of the merged entity for every three shares owned, the newspaper said today. SpiceJet, which planned to raise $100 million for fleet expansion, is yet to get investors, the newspaper said. Kingfisher Airlines, controlled by billionaire Vijay Mallya, operates India's biggest budget carrier Deccan Aviation Ltd. (Bloomberg) […]

PE investments take a beating

With a bearish phase prevailing over stock markets, valuations of private equity (PE) investments have taken a beating. Certain PEs which had overestimated companies to enter at high values have seen a decline in valuations due to volatile capital market conditions. A compilation of how PE investments of 2007 compare with current mark-to-market (MTM) values shows that about 58 percent of the PIPE (private investments in public enterprises) deals of 2007 are in the negative territory. According to the research undertaken by SMC Investment Solutions & Services (May 2008), the only ray of hope is that overall till-date-returns on PIPE deals of 2007 (on volume basis) are still in the positive, although at a margal 8.3 percent, despite rough market conditions of 2008. However, wealth creation is highly imbalanced in different sectors, with Banking, Financial Services & Insurance (BFSI), telecom and retail sectors ducking the volatile capital market conditions. On the other hand, sectors like IT & ITeS, infrastructure, healthcare and life sciences, media, manufacturing and real estate are in the negative zone. […]

UK’s Eredene Cap picks up 50% stake in Apeejay Infra-Logistics

UK-based Eredene Capital has picked up a 50% stake in Apeejay Infra-Logistics (AILPL), the infrastructure arm of Kolkata-based Apeejay Surrendra Group. The group is setting up a state-of-the-art logistics park in Haldia in West Bengal’s West Midnapore district. Eredene Capital has invested Sterling Pound 5.25 million or Rs 42 crore to pick up the 50% AILPL stake. This was confirmed by Abdul Wahid, the new chief executive officer of AILPL. Eredene Capital invests in infrastructure projects and in real estate development in India. It focuses primarily, but not exclusively, on logistics, distribution of warehouses and port services. Mr Wahid, who will be responsible for all infrastructure related activities of the Apeejay Surrendra group, has over 17 years of experience as a senior supply chain management professional. Speaking to ET, Mr Wahid said: “The Eredene group has picked up a 50% stake in APILPL at an investment of Rs 42 crore. The Eredene group has a crack team with core experience in real estate, infrastructure, ports and logistics and we see them as natural partners in the development project at Haldia. We look forward to working with them in this and other future projects as well.” […]

PE firms wooing OOH media players

In a sector that’s largely unorganised and dominated by family-run set ups, private equity and outdoor media owners are becoming strange bedfellows. But there’s also a catch — currently, most of the funding is going into newer players with interests beyond conventional media. Recently, Warburg Pincus invested about Rs 276 crore in the out-of-home (OOH) advertising company Laqshya Media. UTI Venture Funds, which is largely credited with identifying the sector, also invested an additional Rs 25 crore in the company taking the total investment to Rs 301 crore. The company had picked up a 15% stake in Laqshya for Rs 45 crore in October 2006. Earlier this year, another OOH media firm received funding to the tune of $50 million from Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers. Media reports now suggest that ICICI Ventures, Lehman and Goldman Sachs have lined up plans to pick up around 15-20% stake in the Bangalore-based OOH advertising firm Serve & Volley for Rs 250 crore. […]

RCom, MTN deal likely on July 6?

The latest industry buzz is that a deal between Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications (RCom) and South Africa’s MTN may be announced on Sunday, July 6, which is the death anniversary of Dhirubhai Ambani. The speculation has gained currency because, in 2006, Anil Ambani had announced his interest in acquiring a controlling stake in Hutch Essar on the birth anniversary of his father. The 45-day exclusivity period for talks between RCom and MTN ends on July 8, and therefore, an announcement (either yes or no) could be announced anytime by then, sources pointed out. An extension of the exclusivity period, by as much as 30 days, cannot be ruled out either. Following the feud between the Ambani brothers, the deal structure is believed to have been changed between MTN and RCom, as first reported in this newspaper on June 27. Instead of a proposed merger between the two, RCom is now looking at acquiring below 35% stake in MTN, sources said. RCom may tie up with investors, including sovereign wealth funds, to buy a stake in MTN. […]

RCOM plans to raise $5 bn for MTN deal

Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications (RCOM) is in talks to raise up to $5-6 billion from banks to part-finance its planned acquisition of the South African telco MTN. RCOM may pledge the shares of MTN to raise the funds and also provide some sort of guarantee to the lenders. Sources in the know said Deustsche Bank, HSBC and Barclays, among others, are putting in place short-term financing for RCOM to finance the deal. A few Indian banks and a host of European banks have also offered an underlying commitment to lend money for the transaction. RCOM will have to repay this debt in a year or so by raising long-term funding. RCOM’s 45-day exclusivity period (during which MTN could not consider any alternative partner) ends on July 7. It’s unlikely that the transaction would be completed by then, said a source in the know. Instead, the exclusivity period might be extended. The entire transaction is expected to be routed through a special purpose vehicle (SPV). In addition to RCOM, other partners could also pick up equity in this SPV. RCOM is learnt to have been in talks with a Middle East-based sovereign wealth fund and a couple of private equity players to offer stake in the SPV. It is learnt that the private equity funds are not-so-keen to participate in the SPV, while the sovereign fund is interested in it. RCOM will likely hold a majority equity stake in the SPV. […]

Tricom to pay $2.25 m for Pacific Data

Non-voice BPO firm Tricom India will pay $2.25 million for acquiring 100 per cent stake in the US-based Pacific Data Centers Inc (PDC). The new acquisition will enhance Tricom`s capabilities to address the needs of clients whose data cannot be sent offshore and also expand its service portfolio in other business domains, according to Mr Chetan Kothari, Managing Director of Tricom India Ltd. Established in 1976, PDC provides services such as data entry, data conversion, imaging, OCR, medical billing, claims processing, printing, mailing, and lock box services. Its customers include Government agencies, hospitals, insurance companies, direct mailers, banks, utilities and management organisations. […]