Friday, December 26, 2008

Unitech - Update On Unitech-Telenor Deal - Dec 26, 2008

With reference to earlier annoucement dated October 29, 2008, Unitech Ltd has now informed that the telecom deal with Telenor is expected to close in January 2009 instead of December 2008. The closing of the transaction is subject to certain conditions being fulfilled. Unitech Group and its partner, Telenor, anticipate that not all conditions for closing will be fulfilled before December 2008. Both the parties thus expect to close the transaction during January 2009.

Further the Company has informed BST that the Company signed a binding agreement with Telenor on October 28, 2008 and are now completing all the formalities. Both the parties have made significant progress on the transaction. During this period, the Company have also made a lot of progress on various launch related activities, e.g. network order placement, tower sharing, recruiting and acquisition of offices/facilities in circles amongst many other things.

PVR - Opening Of Another Multiplex In Mumbai - Dec 26, 2008

PVR Ltd has announced the opening of its another prestigious multiplex in Mumbai comprising seven mainstream digital audis with total capacity of 1847 seats, situated at Phoenix Mills Compound, 462, S B Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai named as PVR Phoenix Mill, on December 26, 2008. The PVR Phoenix Mill is owned by CR Retail Malls (India) Pvt Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of PVR Ltd.

The new Multiplex has 2k digital cinema, compliant with DCI technology, advanced sound and picture quality, digital technology slated, to bridge the demand supply gap (movie prints vis-s-vis no. of seats) at no additional distribution costs. The technology enables wide releases of a movie, ensuring better return on investments helpful in curbing piracy which is widely prevalent in India in the absence of right technology.

The opening of the multiplex makes the screen count in Mumbai to 24 and total screen count would go upto 108 at 26 locations across 14 cities in 9 States and 1 Union Territory. The Company is also in the process of applying to the Mumbai State Government for exemption of entertainment tax.

Infotech Enterprises - Clarification - Dec 26, 2008

Infotech Enterprises Ltd has informed that there have been some reports in the media about the Bhu Bharathi Project of the Government of Andhra Pradesh. In this connection, the Company stated as follows: The High Court of Andhra Pradesh has stayed a Government Order awarding a contract to Infotech Enterprises Ltd for conducting aerial survey of land, under the Integrated Land Information System, titled Bhu Bharathi Rollout Phase I Project in the Karimnagar and Nellore Districts of Andhra Pradesh.

The contract value is approximately Rs 48 crores and is to be executed over 24 months and as such, it has no material impact on the Companys performance. The matter is still to be heard by the Honble high Court of Andhra Pradesh and the Company is yet to receive the notices.

Indian Telecom''s M&As At Despite Downturn: Assocham - Dec 26, 2008

New Delhi: The Indian telecom industry this fiscal has seen mergers and acquisitions, which is valued at over $9 billion, unfazed by the global slowdown, an industry survey said on Dec 24. In the country, the consolidation in telecom accounted for one-third of the total M&As. An Assocham EcoPulse study said, the largest of around 20 deals this year was Japanese major NTT DoCoMo''s purchase of a 26 per cent stake in Tata Teleservices.

The $2.7 billion deal "enabled the Japanese giant''s entry into the world''s fastest-growing telecom market, which has over three times the number of subscribers in Japan," the study said. Besides this, in another deal, Dubai-based Emirates Telecommunications Corp (Etisalat) bought a 45 per cent stake in Swan Telecom for $900 million in cash. In the last eight months this fiscal, the Idea Cellular acquiring a 40.8 per cent stake for $679 million in Spice Communications was among the major domestic deals. The study says of the $9 billion M&A deals, foreign companies infused $8.06 billion.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Nava Bharat - Buy Back Offer - Dec 24, 2008

JM Financial Consultants Pvt. Ltd (Manager to the Buy Back) on behalf of Nava Bharat Ventures Ltd (Target Company), has issued this Public Announcement (PA) to the Shareholders/ Beneficial owners of the Equity Shares of the Target Company, pursuant to the provisions of Regulation 8(1) read with 15(c) of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Buy-Back of Securities) Regulations, 1998, for the time being in force including any statutory modifications and amendments from time to time (Buy-Back Regulations) and contains the disclosures as specified in Schedule II to the Buy-Back Regulations.

The Buyback: The Target Company hereby announces the Buy-back of its fully paidup equity shares of the face value Rs 2 each (Equity Shares) from the open market using the electronic trading facilities of the Bombay Stock Exchange Ltd (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd (NSE) in accordance with the provisions of Sections 77A, 77AA and 77B of the Companies Act, 1956 (the Act) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Buy-back of Securities) Regulations, 1998 (the Buy-Back Regulations) for a minimum of 735,295 Equity Shares (Minimum Offer Shares) at a price not exceeding Rs 170 per share (Maximum Offer Price) payable in cash, for an aggregate amount not exceeding Rs 5,000 lakhs (Maximum Offer Size) from the existing owners of Equity Shares (the Buy-back) other than those who are promoters, promoter group, directors of promoters, persons in control and persons acting in concert holding Equity shares of Company. The Maximum Offer Size represents 6.29% of the aggregate of the Companys total paid-up equity capital and free reserves as on March 31, 2008.

The Maximum Offer Price has been arrived at after taking into consideration factors such as trends in the market price of Equity Shares, the book value of Equity Shares, price-earning ratio and impact on the other financial parameters due to Buy-back. The buy-back of shares will be made at a maximum price of Rs 170 per share which represents a premium of 42.44% and 42.02% to the closing price on BSE and NSE, respectively, on December 11, 2008, being the last trading day prior to the date of the Board meeting. The closing price of the Equity Shares of the Company as on December 11, 2008 (last trading date prior to board meeting) on BSE and NSE was Rs 119.35 and Rs 119.70 respectively.

The Company shall place buy orders so long as the price is below the Maximum Offer Price and the Buy-back will close in terms with the timetable mentioned herein. However, it is being clarified that the Company shall have the flexibility to close the Buy-back at an earlier date in the event the Minimum Offer Shares have been purchased. The fact that the Board Resolution provides for the Maximum Offer Price does not indicate that the Company will or is obliged to buy or continue to buy Equity Shares, so long as the market price is below the Maximum Offer Price. Similarly, the fact that this announcement mentions the Maximum Offer Size that may be bought back at a price not exceeding Rs. 170 per share does not indicate that the Company will utilize or is obliged to utilize, the entire amount of Rs 5,000 Lakhs (being the Maximum Offer Size) in the Buy-back.

Further, the maximum number of Equity Shares bought back shall be subject to (i) the Buy-back not causing the Company to be in violation of the conditions for continuous listing prescribed in terms of Clause 40A of the listing agreement between the Company and the Stock Exchanges and (ii) the aggregate consideration payable pursuant to the Buy-back not exceeding the Maximum Offer Size.

As required under the Act and the Buy-Back Regulations, the Company shall not purchase Equity Shares which are partly paid-up Equity Shares with calls-in-arrears, locked-in or non-transferable Equity Shares in the Buy-back till the time they become fully-paid or till the Equity Shares become transferable. There will be no negotiated deals (whether on or off Stock Exchanges), spot transactions or any other private arrangements in implementation of the Buy-back.

Proposed Time Table Board Meeting approving Buy-back-December 12, 2008, Date of Public Notice-December 12, 2008, Date of Public Announcement-December 22, 2008, Date of opening of the Buy-back-January 6, 2009, Verification of Equity Shares accepted in the physical mode - Within 7 days of the relevant payout date.

Acceptance of Shares-Within 15 days of the relevant payout dates of the Stock Exchanges
Extinguishment of Shares - Within 7 days of acceptance as above Last Date for the Buy-back - December 11, 2009 (i.e. 12 months from the date of the Board Resolution). However, the Board in its absolute discretion may decide to close the Buyback, at an earlier date in the event the Minimum Offer Shares have been purchased under the Buy-back, even if the Maximum Offer Size has not been reached, by giving appropriate notice of such date and completing all formalities in this regard as per relevant laws and regulations. There would be a completion of all payment obligations in respect of the Buy-back prior to the last date of the Buy-back.

Garware Polyester - Outcome Of AGM - Dec 24, 2008

Garware Polyester Ltd has informed that the members at the 51st Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Company held on December 23, 2008, inter alia, have passed the necessary resolutions pertaining to the following Ordinary Business :

1.Adoption of the Audited Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss Account for the 18 months period ended September 30, 2008 together with Directors and Auditors Report thereon.

2.Re-appointment of Mrs. S S Garware, Ms. Sarita Garware, Mr. B Moradian, as Directors of the Company.

3.Re-appointment of M/s Shah & Co., Chartered Accountants, as Auditors and authorization to the Board of Directors for fixation of Auditors Remuneration.

4.Issue of 2,00,000 Equity Shares at a price of Rs 32.67 per equity share (i.e. at a premium of Rs 22.67 per equity share) to various schemes operating under UTI Assets Manage Company Ltd on Preferential basis in terms of Sect 81(1A) of the Companies Act, 1956.

5.Payment of Additional Remuneration to the Statutory Auditors of the Company for the. extended period of the Financial year from April 01, 2008 to September 30, 2008.

Piramal Health Buys Minrad For $40 Mn - Dec 24, 2008

Piramal Healthcare on Dec 23 announced that it acquired US-based Minrad International for Rs 188 crore. With a bid to acquire stake of a 100 per cent in Minrad International and with a promise of almost a $100 million worth of sales, the Piramal Group is set to become one of the top three global companies in the critical care space.

Minrad, generic inhalation anesthetics drug maker, had been making losses to the tune of $25 million this year and will provide Piramal Group to enter the US market for sevoflurane.

“Minrad International had put in a lot of money into putting their infrastructure in place but then they ran out of funding”, said Ajay Piramal, chairman, Piramal Group. However, the acquisition by Piramal comes with the complete confidence of turning around the acquired company.

As small pharma companies in the US increasingly find it difficult to find funding, they may be up for grabs and make a strategic fix for companies that have a strong presence in certain niche segments like in biotech.

Insurance Staff Strike Work Against Tabling Of Bills - Dec 24, 2008

On Tuesday, the employees in the insurance sector struck down work to protest against the introduction of two Bills in Parliament to amend the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) Act, 1956 and the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill. Due to the strike the work in the insurance offices was affected. The LIC Amendment Bill, which was introduced in the Lok Sabha, seeks to increase equity from Rs.5 crore to Rs.100 crore while on the other hand the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, which was tabled in the Rajya Sabha, seeks at increasing foreign direct investment (FDI) cap to 49 per cent from 26 per cent. It also allows the four State-owned insurance companies to go public and raise funds from the capital markets. The financial meltdown globally has affected the insurance sector in U.S., Europe and Japan.

“It is beyond imagination as to how the companies, which are struggling in their own countries, are being allowed to increase their stakes in India”, said A.K. Bhatnagar, Northern Zone Insurance Employees'' Association. He also said, “India cannot totally escape from the impact of this global meltdown. It is agreed that the impact on our financial sector is not that severe simply because the Indian sector continues to be dominated by the public sector”.

“The LIC (Amendment) Bill is nothing but a farce and a step for its privatisation. Given the LIC''s assets, investment and returns, making it a weak organisation will be an imprudent and retrograde step of the government”, the Association said in a statement.

The Northern Zone Insurance Employees'' Association, along with the General Insurance Employees'' Association, organized a march to Parliament, where the employees were addressed by All-India Trade Union Congress general secretary and MP Gurudas Dasgupta and Centre of Indian Trade Unions president M.K. Pandhe. They cautioned the government against FDI describing it as "anti-national," "anti-people" and "anti-employees.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Satyam Investors Seek Answers On Maytas Deal - Dec 23, 2008

B. Ramalinga Raju, Satyam chairman may have done his bit to undo the damage on the Maytas deal, but his answers have not satisfied some of the company''s most high profile investors, who now want more accountability. More than 25 high profile investors in Satyam are coming together to form a body, in order to make a formal representation to the company''s management. Some of Satyam shareholders such as SBI Mutual Fund, Reliance MF and Templeton MF, Birla Aberdeen, will be a part of this formal association.

This formal group will also make a representation to market regulator SEBI in order to ensure some action against such moves made by Satyam. They have also asked Raju to come to Mumbai to give some direct answers to them after the buy back meeting happens later this month. Foreign investors and institutions together hold about 60 per cent in Satyam whereas the promoters hold less than 10 per cent.

The Satyam-Maytas deal fiasco has raised questions on the company''s corporate governance norms. Even though the deal was called off, the role of independent directors occupied center stage. While these development have left the IT giants stock getting hammered, investors like Aberdeen who hold more than 5 per cent continue to sense an opportunity to have a more active say.For high profile investors to come together will be the first ever such move in a country where they rarely speak in one voice rarely.

Dabur Expanding Its Personal Care Biz - Dec 23, 2008

Few weeks back, Dabur India wanted to freeze its retail expansion plans for the next quarter, but interestingly they are now keen to expand once again this time with a totally reworked strategy. Dabur is reworking its plan to now focus on personal care segment instead of health and beauty retailing, to beat competition and leverage its brand strength at the same time.

Sources suggest that the new stores would be a lot smaller in size and they will be located in Bangalore and the NCR region. The focus will be more on private labels and international brands and tie ups with Turkish personal care brand ''Moda'' and an Australian cosmetics brand ''QVS'' is already in place.

The management for the retail operations have also seen a rejig. Earlier in the month, Dabur Retail''s expat CEO Peter Baker had quit and moved to Future Group. Till date there''s no replacement and Dabur''s in no hurry to find a replacement. Instead, Dabur India''s CEO Sunil Duggal will now be at the helm of affairs and regional heads will report directly to him as well as to Dabur''s board.

Dabur is known as an ayurvedic company and it wanted its retail stores to be away from this middle-segment image. But now, with Dabur''s management directly running the show, the challenge for Sunil Duggal will be to convince the Burman family who so far has been bearish on the venture.