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RPG exits mobile retail space; sells 50% to JV partner

The RP Goenka Group has sold its 50% stake in mobile and laptop retail chain RPG Cellucom to joint venture partner Arun Nagar, founder and owner of Dubai-based Cellucom. Industry analysts peg the deal value at Rs 150-200 crore. However, this could not be independently verified. RPG group declined to provide details. While confirming the exit, a group spokesperson said, “This divestment is consistent with RPG’s focus on higher margin retail categories.” Cellucom is spread across Asia, Eastern Europe, South America and Africa. In October, Mr Nagar had announced plans to invest around Rs 300 crore on the India expansion, and said the company was adding 15-20 outlets every month. […]

Altima India Master Fund mulls 14% stake in Indian Film Co.

Asian hedge fund Altima India Master Fund is looking at picking up 14.39 per cent in AIM listed The Indian Film Company. Altima India Master Fund is interested in acquiring 7,913,500 ordinary shares in the company, which represents 14.39 per cent of the company's issued share capital. Altima India Master Fund is a controlled undertaking of Altima India Master Fund Limited and both companies are domiciled in the Cayman Islands. The fund is advised by Altima Partners Limited, a UK partnership, authorised and regulated by the FSA. […]

Yahoo acquires 30% stake in Chennai-based telephonic search services firm

Yahoo picked 30 percent stake in Info Network Management Company Pvt Ltd (INMAC), promoters of CallEzee services which enable users to gain access to directory services through use of telephone. Yahoo has routed the deal through its Dutch subsidiary and will have representation on INMAC’s board post acquisition. Call Ezee currently offers services in 14 cities across the country including Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata. […]

UK-based PE firm 3i to retain India operations

UK based private equity firm 3i will retain presence in India even as an ongoing global restructuring programme prompts the firm — said to be the world’s largest listed PE outfit — to close down its key Hong Kong and Shanghai offices. Although the move is aimed at pruning costs, sources said that it also underscores the growing importance of the Indian market compared with other markets in Asia. The move to continue operations here also comes against the background of 3i’s recent plan to cut its global headcount by about 15% owing to the tough market conditions. The offices that will continue to operate include Mumbai and Singapore. The Mumbai office will coordinate the firm’s investments for companies across the country, while Singapore will be the hub for the whole of Southeast Asia. 3i Singapore will be responsible for investments in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. […]

Tata Capital to raise $500 Million for PE Venture

Mumbai based non-banking financial company (NBFC), Tata Capital plans to raise $500 million as its first corpus of its private equity (PE) venture. With expansion such as investment banking, retail banking, corporate finance and retail loans on the mind, the NBFC will approach both domestic and international investors for the fund. The company is also leveraging its tie-up with Japan's Mizuho Securities to offer combined services such as investment banking, broking, PE and wealth management and thus strengthen its PE business. “Market conditions are tough and there are mid-tier companies that need funding for their expansion plans. […]

Satyam Calls Off Stake Plan

Following an investor outcry, Satyam Computer Services Ltd. late Tuesday dropped a $1.6 billion plan to buy stakes in a pair of infrastructure companies in which the Indian software company 's founders held stakes. The decision came just half a day after Satyam said its board had approved the plan to buy 51% of Maytas Infra Ltd. and all of Mytas Properties Ltd. The reversal was forced after Satyam's American depository receipts fell $6.85, or 55%, to $5.70 in 4 p.m. New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The ADRs rebounded 56% to $8.89 in after-hours trading. Analysts criticized the proposed buyout because of the construction companies' lack of relevance to Satyam's core business, and because Satyam's founders, led by Chairman B. Ramalinga Raju, hold stakes of 36% in Maytas Infra and 35% in Maytas Properties. […]

FDI flows dip 26% in October

FDI inflows declined 26% in October this year compared to the same month last year, commerce minister Kamal Nath told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday. Experts attribute this fall after seven months of robust growth to the drying up of investments from countries hit by the global slowdown. The inflows in September 2008 had registered a steep growth of 259% to $2.56 billion against $713 million in September 2007. In contrast, the figure for October 2008 fell to $1.49 billion compared to over $2 billion in October 2007. However, experts caution that a part of the October decline could also be attributed to a higher base in 2007 as FDI flow during the month was almost three times higher than in September 2007. […]

Satyam buys out Maytas Properties, 51% of infra arm

India’s fourth-largest software company, Satyam Computer Services on Tuesday announced acquisition of 100% stake in Maytas Properties for $1.3 billion and 51% stake in Maytas Infra for $0.3 billion. The company’s decision, which comes as a surprise is being termed as a move to diversify its portfolio in non-IT sectors, which has been facing the heat of the global meltdown. Maytas, which is the reverse word for Satyam is promoted by two sons of B Ramalinga Raju, chairman and founder of Satyam Computer Service. The decision has been approved by the company’s board of directors. Analysts and institutional investors do not seem happy with this move and some are likely to oppose it. […]

IDFC PE, UTI Ventures buy stakes in cables company

Private equity funds IDFC Private Equity Co. Ltd (IDFC PE) and UTI Ventures have acquired substantial stakes in Deepak Cables (India) Ltd, a Bangalore-based unlisted manufacturer of aluminium conductor wires, for some Rs285 crore, two bankers familiar with the transaction said. IDFC PE invested Rs200 crore from its $700 million (about Rs3,353 crore) IDFC Fund-III, Satish Mandhana, managing director of the fund, confirmed. UTI Ventures invested the remaining, he added. Both funds have acquired stakes from the promoter and managing director of Deepak Cables K. Venkateshwara Rao and his family. […]

R-ADAG may pick 50% in UK currency co

Reliance ADAG is close to acquiring 50% stake in a UK-based currency exchange and money transfer firm for an undisclosed amount. This will enable the Indian company to sell its financial products to the 1.4 million NRI population. The name of the UK firm is under wraps but a person with knowledge of the development said the target company was recently named as one of the fastest growing firms in the UK with more than 250 outlets. “It could either be TTT Moneycorp or No1 Currency,’’ he said, adding, the deal will be routed through Wall Street Finance, an Indian public-listed firm that ADAG acquired recently to enter the money transfer business. […]