July 2010
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Reliance MediaWorks offers to buy majority stake in Inox Leisure

Reliance MediaWorks has offered to buy a majority stake in multiplex operator Inox Leisure in an attempt to end a prolonged tussle between the two companies over a smaller cinema chain. Two persons close to the development said the company, owned by billionaire Anil Ambani, has offered Rs 120 for every share to the owners of Inox, valuing the company at a little over Rs 740 crore. But the two sides were still talking about valuation and a final agreement had not been reached, the people close to the deal said. The owners of Inox — the Delhi-based Jain family who also own Gujarat Fluorochemicals — are holding out for a higher price, said to be around `140, they said. The Jain family owns just under 67% of Inox. […]

Soros Eyes Bombay Exchange Stake

Hedge fund Soros Fund Management is on the verge of taking a stake in the Bombay Stock Exchange. The New York-based firm is in final talks with Dubai Holdings, which wants to offload its own 4% stake in the Indian bourse. Soros plans to pay about $40 million for the stake, the Financial Times reports. The move comes amid signs of disagreement between the BSE and the Singapore Stock Exchange, which also owns 4% of the Mumbai exchange. The SGX recently gave up its board seat at the BSE, and has been looking to partner more closely with the BSE’s chief rival, the National Stock Exchange of India, which is significantly larger. […]

Century to raise $50 mn from PE for Rs 900 cr project

Bangalore-based real estate company Century Real Estate is planning to raise close to $50 million from private equity players to fund its Rs 900 crore project in the city. The project, coming up in northern Bangalore, will be spread over 20 acres. Industry sources said, the property would come up on an area of 3 million sq ft with a mix of commercial and residential segments. However, the time frame for this fund raising activity is not clear with the structure of the proposed deal. […]

Muthoot Finance sells 4%, raises Rs 157 cr

Gold loan company, Muthoot Finance, has raised Rs 157 crore by issuing shares to the extent of 4% of the firm’s capital to private equity firms Baring Equity Partners India and Matrix partners India. Both the private equity firms now have a 2% stake each in the company, which is valued at $1 billion in terms of the present deal, said KP Padmakumar, executive director of Muthoot Finance. The capital has been raised for meeting capital adequacy and business growth. Following the infusion of fresh capital, the company’s capital adequacy ratio has improved to 17%. Muthoot’s assets grew by Rs 2,000 crore from Rs 8,000 crore in the first quarter and is expected to touch the Rs 15,000-crore mark by FY11. The NBFC eventually plans to go public. […]

Baring Private Equity to invest in real estate

Baring Private Equity Partners (India) Pvt. Ltd (BPEP), the private equity (PE) fund which has traditionally invested in the information technology (IT), healthcare and financial services space, is now planning investments in real estate. “Apart from the other sectors, real estate will be our new focus,” said Rahul Bhasin, managing partner, BPEP India. On Thursday, BPEP India along with Matrix Partners India invested Rs157 crore in gold loan company Muthoot Finance Ltd. In March, it hired Varun Batra, managing director and head of Citigroup India's global special situations group, to spearhead its initiative in real estate. […]

Qualcomm sells 26% stake to Tulip,GH

US-based mobile chip maker Qualcomm today sold 26 per cent stake in its Indian broadband unit to Tulip Telecom and Global Holdings for USD 57.72 million (about Rs 268 crore). Telecom networking firm Tulip Telecom and Global Holdings, owners of telecom infrastructure firms GTL Ltd and GTL Infra, have bought 13 per cent each for a combined value of USD 57.72 million (about Rs 268 crore). Qualcomm now holds 74 per cent in the yet-to-be named unit and has sold the stake to conform with FDI rules under which telecom companies in the country should have a minimum of 26 per cent Indian holding. […]

Bahrain Telecom's plans to hike stake in S Tel rejected

Bahrain Telecommunications plans to raise its holdings in local communications firm S Tel has been rejected by the Indian government, officials with direct knowledge of the developments told ET. Earlier this year, Bahrain Telecommunications had sought approval to hike its nearly 42% stake in S Tel by an additional 6.3% more for about $53 mn. If the deal had taken place, S Tel’s foreign holding would have risen to 54.61% because another foreign entity – Mauritius-based Telecom Investment Private already has a 5.6% stake in the telco. After deliberating the proposal for nearly six months, the India’s Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), the nodal agency for clearing all major foreign investments, rejected it in its last meet on July 12 on security grounds, documents available with ET reveal. […]

IL&FS Investment Managers to acquire Saffron Assets Advisors

IL&FS Investment Managers Ltd has announced that the Board of Directors of the Company at its meeting held on July 30, 2010, has granted its approval to the Company to acquire the shares of Saffron Assets Advisors Pvt. Ltd. (“SAAPL”) an, Indian entity, from Saffron Capital Securities Ltd. (“SCSL”), a Mauritius entity, thus making it a subsidiary of the Company. Further the Board has granted its approval to merge SCSL and its wholly owned subsidiary Saffron Capital Advisors Ltd. (“SCAL”), a Mauritius entity, into IL&FS Investment Advisors LLC (“IIAL”), the Company's wholly owned subsidiary in Mauritius. This merger would not in any manner dilute the Company's beneficial interest in IIAL. […]

Ashok Leyland to acquire 26% stake in UK's leading Bus Manufacturer Optare

Ashok Leyland Ltd., the flagship company of the London-based Hinduja Group announced today that it had reached agreement with Optare plc, a leading bus manufacturer in the UK, to subscribe for a 26 percent stake as a part of long-term strategic cooperation. The investment is estimated at about USD 7.5 million. The deal is expected to further benefit Ashok Leyland in its endeavour to accelerate technology, new product development and to address new markets. Optare, founded in 1985, has a turnover of about USD 125 million. Optare has been recognised for its innovative, weight optimised 'Low Carbon' range of low-floor, mid-size buses as well as a modern range of city buses. Optare has been a pioneer of the low-floor double-decker in the UK. Their new electric bus product has already secured several orders as more countries in Europe promote cleaner, greener mobility. […]

India, Vietnam to jointly pitch for BP assets: report

India and Vietnam will jointly pitch for taking over the energy assets of British energy giant BP in the Southeast Asian country, the Press Trust of India reported Thursday. India's flagship explorer ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), backed by public sector company Oil India Ltd and Vietnam's national oil firm PetroVietnam, will make a joint bid for BP's 35 percent stake in a Vietnamese offshore gas block, the news agency said, quoting Indian Oil Minister Murli Deora. Under its contract with Vietnam, BP has to give first preference to existing partners in the block, the agency said. OVL has a 45 percent stake in the gas block, while PetroVietnam holds the remaining 20 percent. BP's asset sale — to help pay for damages stemming from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster — presents an investment opportunity for energy-hungry India as the country looks to obtain more fuel supplies for its fast-growing economy. […]