September 2008
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Kotak plans majority stake in Ahmedabad comex

After Anil Ambani group and Indiabulls, financial services major Kotak group is set to become the third leading corporate house to enter commodity bourse arena with plans for a majority stake in Ahmedabad Commodity Exchange. The regional stock exchange has sought clearance from the commodity market regulator Forward Markets Commission for selling a majority stake to the Kotak group, sources said. “The Ahmedabad Commodity Exchange, which deals in castor seeds futures, has an average daily trading volume of about 5,000 tonnes,” exchange officials said. However, Kotak group’s plans would depend to a large extent on the release of FMC guidelines for the regional exchanges. “We are waiting for the guidelines from FMC and accordingly Kotak group will buy the stakes,” an exchange official said. Though Kotak is seeking to buy 51% stake in the exchange, it is ready to go for a smaller equity if FMC fixes a lower cap on the promoter holding. In its guidelines for national-level exchanges, FMC recently fixed a maximum limit of 40% for stake to be held by a promoter. The Ahmedabad Commodity Exchange has 212 members and the shares in the company will be distributed among them after the guidelines for regional exchanges come out, officials said. […]

Anil Ambani to make new offer for Newcastle

Reliance Communications chairman and managing director Anil Ambani may have issued a statement sometimes back that he was not interested in buying English club Newcastle United. But the speculation simply refuses to die. According to the Times, it is becoming increasingly likely that the telecoms giant will seek formal talks with the Premiership club’s board with a view to a £220 million buyout on Monday. Ambani was first linked with the takeover last month but it seemed he was dissuaded by the £260 million tag and the fact that the Tyneside club had failed to strengthen the squad. But following the club’s latest tribulations, the exit of Geordie favourite, manager Kevin Keegan, Reliance believes the time is ripe to make a move. […]

Dempo to divest stake in flagship co to fund expansion

Dempo Group, one of the biggest players in iron ore in India, is planning to raise around Rs 1,500 crore for expanding its petroleum coke business. The company plans to divest stake in flagship mining company — VS Dempo — to support its expansion plans. The Rs 2,000-crore group is believed to be in talks with three PE firms and the deal would be sealed by the end of the month, sources close to the development said. The company plans to invest funds in its Goa Carbon petroleum coke business. According to sources, the group is looking at setting up a plant in Gujarat near Vadodara with additional funds. When contacted VS Dempo chairman Shrinivas V Dempo told ET: “We would need around Rs 1,200 crore for supporting our petroleum coke business. We would sell stake in our iron ore business to support this.” There were also talks that the company would be selling off the iron ore business all together. But later on, it is believed, the company instead decided to sell a substantial share in the iron business. […]

KKR eyes BT stake in Tech Mahindra

Buyout private equity giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR) is chasing probably its first pure-play India deal, eyeing BT’s stake in the Indian telecom services company Tech Mahindra, sources close to the development said. KKR is preparing a potential bid, even as four other global PE peers — Apax Partners, Texas Pacific Group, Temasek and Carlyle — have also shown early interest in a formal process which will start in 10 days. ET had reported on the possibility of PE firms entering the fray for the stake. BT is putting an over-$800 million tag on its 31% stake, valuing Tech Mahindra at nearly $3 billion. The current market cap of the company is around $2.2 billion. The Tech Mahindra scrip closed at Rs 757.70 on the NSE on Friday. The 22-year-old Tech Mahindra, with a focus on the telecom vertical, is a joint venture between BT and Mahindra & Mahindra, with latter owning 44.25%. The company reported a revenue of $934.7 million during FY08, a 44% year-on-year growth. It employs some 24,000 workers. In 2006, KKR paid $900 million to acquire an 85% stake in the software unit of Singapore-headquartered Flextronics, with operations in Bangalore and New Delhi. The other big fund actions in India’s IT/ITeS sector include Blackstone’s buyout of Intelenet and Warburg Pincus’ play in back-office firm WNS Holdings. […]

Big Entertainment buys stake in Willow TV

Reliance Big Entertainment Pvt. Ltd on Sunday said it has acquired majority stake in the US-based Willow TV Inc. (, a portal for live Internet streaming of important cricket events from across the world. Willow TV, headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, has more than a million registered users worldwide, predominantly in the US, Canada, Australia and Europe. In 2007-08, Willow TV streamed all major cricket events live, including the Indian Premier League, Australian, South African and English international cricket. “The acquisition of Willow TV is in line with our strategy to strengthen our presence in the global markets and reinforce our group’s presence in new media,” said Rajesh Sawhney, president, Reliance Big Entertainment.(Livemint) […]