November 2009
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Essar takes 51% stake in Uganda, Congo telcos

The Ruias’ Essar Group is to acquire a 51 per cent stake in the telecom operations of the Dhabi Group, an investment company led by Abu Dhabi’s royal family, in Uganda and Congo for around $150 million (Rs 692 crore). In Dhabi’s Warid Telecom Uganda and Warid Telecom Congo, Essar Telecom will invest for the growth capital that will help to enhance network and improve marketing. Upon completion of the investments, Essar will acquire a majority stake in both the assets, said the company in a statement. The agreements were signed by Sheikh Nahyan Mabarak al Nahyan, chairman of the Dhabi Group, and Prashant Ruia, Group Chief Executive of Essar in Abu Dhabi today. […]

UltraTech to buy Samruddhi to form India's No.1 cement firm

UltraTech Cement, a unit of Indian conglomerate Aditya Birla Group, is absorbing sister unit Samruddhi Cement, to form the country's biggest cement firm, both companies said. The move, flagged in October, was approved by the boards of both companies on Sunday. The combined entity will be better placed to take on Swiss firm Holcim, which controls about a fifth of India's 200-million tonne cement market through ACC and Ambuja Cements. “The merger will achieve the group's objective of consolidating its cement business into a single entity, thereby creating a platform that will help in pursuing aggressive growth going forward,” Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of Aditya Birla Group, said in a statement on Sunday. […]

PE investment in telecom sector to look up in 2010

Private equity investment in the country's telecom sector is likely to surge next year with the introduction of 3G services and rural penetration by telcos, experts say. Analysts believe as operators roll out 3G services by next year, the telecom infrastructure and mobile value added services will see more PE deals materialising in the sector. “As new operators come on board, spending on downstream or ancillary operations like mobile value added services (VAS) and tower infrastructure would be increased,” Venture Intelligence Chief Executive Arun Natarajan said. So far this year, the Indian telecom industry witnessed PE investments worth over USD 300 million through 11 deals. […]