India business news headlines weekly roundup 11 to 16 March 2019
Here’s a roundup of all the India business news that created the buzz in India this week:
- . As per the data released by Trai, Reliance Jio was the fastest telecon network with an average download speed of 20.9 megabit/sec in Feb. 2019.
- Indo Teleports, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, has applied to the Telecom Department for the in-flight connectivity licence. Hughes Communications is India’s first company to be granted in-flight and maritime connectivity licence.
- After grounding of Boeing 737 planes, average airfares on around 14 ain routes jumped more than 65% as compared to last year.
- Sony Corp. is in advanced talks to buy a stake in Zee Entertainment and form a strategic partnership. Zee promoter, Subhash Chandra wants to sell his stake at a premium of 30% and also want to retain a stake of 20%.
- Vistara has been granted permission to fly on international routes. The JV between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines group had sought clearance from the Government in June 2018.
- CCI has cleared the proposed merger of KKR-backed Radiant Life Care and Max Healthcare. The combined entity will be valued at around Rs.7,242 crores.
- E-com players including ShopClues, UrbanClap, Snapdeal, Flyrobe and Shop101 have launched a new trade association TECI (The E-Commerce Council of India).
- Google has introduced its YouTube music app in India, offering local and global songs. The YouTube Music streaming and download free service will run commercials, while a premium version with no advertisements costs Rs.99 per month.
Recommended reading: Sports weekly roundup from 11th to 16th March 2019
Some more news from Corporates
- L&T is set to sign a binding deal to buy the stake of V.G. Siddhartha in Mindtree. The deal could trigger a hostile takeover bid, leading to an open offer by L&T to increase its stake in Mindtree to 51%.
- IndiGo is reportedly offering jobs to Jet Airways pilots along with compensation for overdue salaries. IndiGo is reported to be facing a shortage of pilots.
- The government has reportedly warned Twitter that its executives could face up to 7 years in jail if it fails to remove content and accounts with objectionable and inflammatory content.
- Bharti Airtel will lower their direct stake in the Bharti Infratel by more than half of its current stake of 50.33 per cent. Airtel’s unit Nettle Infrastructure Investments will buy around 32 per cent stake in Bharti Infratel by March 18.
- SBI has launched a doorstep banking for senior citizens over 70 years, differently abled and infirm customers at a nominal fee of Rs.60-100.
- The ban on Boeing 737 Max planes may result in flight cancellations and surge in flight ticket prices over the next few days. As airlines shall try to accommodate passengers of canceled flights, the fresh ticket prices may shoot up
- NCLT has warned lenders of RCom that if they do not allow tax refunds to be used to pay Ericsson, RCom could go back into insolvency proceedings.
- Twitter has gone live with its Ads Transparency Centre for India. This would allow people to view the details of political advertisements like impressions and spends.
- Coca-Cola wants to set up an R&D center in India as part of a plan to make India one of the company’s top three markets.
- PayU is in final stages of discussion with Wimbo for an estimated value of $50-60 million. Zefo specializes in processing online payments.
- Godfrey Philips has rejected allegations of violations of FDI norms regarding manufacturing Marlboro cigarettes.
More in India business news headlines weekly roundup 11 to 16 March 2019
- Hyderabad based pharmaceutical firm Suven Life Sciences shall be setting up a wholly owned subsidiary in the US to focus on contract research and manufacturing services and shall initially invest Rs.525 Crores.
- A panel set up by IRDAI has suggested many steps for speedy settlement of insurance claims as also to attract youngsters. IRDAI will work on the report submitted by the panel.
- Due to the new FDI norms, Amazon has dropped a lot of products from its Global store in India. The site earlier had around 6 million products while last month the number dropped to about 6000 products.
- Geodesic Ltd., which acquired ‘Chandamama’ Magazine in 2007, is being probed for allegedly stashing funds in the Swiss bank. Geodesic was once known as a fast-growing company with cutting-edge technology solutions.
- Reliance Capital has initiated discussions with global investors for selling a stake of 42.88 per cent in Reliance Nippon.
Also read: Why Boeing 737 Max 8 is being grounded
Policies & Practices
- RBI shall infuse Rs.12,500 Crores in the system through open market operations.
Some more India business news headlines weekly roundup 11 to 16 March 2019
M&As and tie-ups
- Samara Capital is said to be in talks to acquire 3i Infotech at an enterprise value of around $140-150 million. 3i has been undergoing a debt restructuring since 2016.
- Brookfield is acquiring East West Pipeline, a loss-making entity of Reliance Industries for Rs.13,000 crores.
- Baring PE Partners Asia is set to acquire AGS Health for around Rs.2230 Crores. AGS Health is a medical revenue cycle management firm.
- Mahindra CIE Automotive has acquired Aurangabad Electricals for Rs.830 crores, marking its entry into the aluminium die-casting industry. Aurangabad Electricals’ revenue was Rs.651 crore during fy 2017-18.
- Walt Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox including Star India could result in loss of around 350 jobs.
- Quikr has entered into a definitive agreement for acquisition with Zefo, a refurbished goods marketplaces, for Rs.200 Crores.
- US software firm Ebix has offered to buy Yatra Online for $336 million in a cash-and-stock deal. Ebix bought Mercury Travels and Leisure Corp last year.
Start-up world, funds and fundings
- Naspers Ltd wants to spend around US$1 billion in India this year. It is reportedly in talks with Capital Float and payments security firm Wimbo to inject funds.
- Bounce, a two-wheeler rental startup, is in talks with B Capital Group, Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s venture fund, to raise around $50 million. The firm is also in talks with other investors from the US, Taiwan and Japan.
- Rebel Foods, earlier known as Faasos, has raised Rs.110 Crores in funding from Sequoia Capital, its existing partner.
- Mswipe, a mobile PoS company, has raised around Rs.220 Crores from its existing partners including Falcon Hedge and Eduardo Saverin.
- Acko General Insurance, an online insurance platform, has raised fresh funding of $65 million in a round led by Binny Bansal and a fund led by Kabir Misra, former managing partner of SoftBank.
- Benddit, a sales and marketing solutions platform, has raised US$250,000 in seed funding. Funds will be used to accelerate product development, expand team and marketing initiatives.
- Oyo has announced to invest around $200 million in its India and South Asia business during 2019.
- Puig has invested Rs.100 Crores in Kama Ayurveda for its domestic and international expansion. Puig is a family owned, Barcelona based fashion and fragrance business house.
- Tencent and General Atlantic have infused a fresh funding of around Rs.80 Crores in Byju’s.
There’s more in India business news headlines weekly roundup 11 to 16 March
- Fortis case
- Supreme Court has directed Singh brothers to come up with a plan to secure Rs.3,500 crore award passed by a Singapore arbitration tribunal in favour of Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo. Shivinder says he was not involved in the Daiichi-Ranbaxy deal or the arbitration award.
- Sebi found diversion of Rs.2,315 crore from two Religare firms to Singh brothers and has directed the firms to recover the loans.
- PNB fraud case
- Nirav Modi entered UK on a ‘golden visa’ issued to investors on a commitment to invest 2 Million pounds in UK. He reportedly flew into UK from New York.
- The second charge sheet filed by ED has names of 10 individuals and 17 entities, including members of Nirav Modi’s family. As per the charge sheet, Rs.6,400 crores obtained via letters of the undertaking were diverted to buy real estate and personal property and used for purposes other than stated through layers of overseas dummy companies.
- Income Tax department has appointed Saffronart to auction seized paintings of Nirav Modi collection, which includes work of Raja Ravi Varma to V.S. Gaitonde.
- Jet Airways crisis
- National Aviators Guild has written to the labour ministry to ask Jet Airways to immediately release pending salaries of airlines pilots.
- The Board of Etihad Airways is reportedly not prepared to meet Jet Airways bailout terms proposed by lenders led by SBI.
- Etihad Airways has set several conditions before its next round of proposed investment in Jet Airways. Reportedly as per the MoU for Jet-Etihad deal, 15% of the total share capital of Jet Privilege, which was pledged to HSBC for US$150 million loans, will have to be made available to Jet Airways. Etihad has also sought completion of interim financing of Rs.4,000 crores.
- Vijay Mallya case – Diageo has claimed that it has bonafide, legal and substantial rights in the shared pledged by Vijay Mallya and his son. ED may oppose the claim.
- Ruchi soya – Patanjali Ayurved has increased its offer for Ruchi Soya to Rs 4,350 crore from Rs.4100 crores. Adani Wilmar had reportedly offered Rs 4,300 crore in August 2018 but withdrew later citing delayed resolution process.
- Essar steel case – Prashant Ruia and two other Directors of Essar Steel have approached NCLAT to thwart ArcelorMittal’s takeover and have offered a one-time settlement of Rs.54,389 crores. ArcelorMittal’s bid was for Rs.50,000 crores.
- As per an AdReaction report 58 percent of ads on air target exclusively women and only 35 percent are targeted towards both genders.
- As per a report from EY, PE and VC exits jumped more than threefold to US$472 million in Feb. 2019 as compared to Feb.2018
- As per a report of consultancy firm Bain and Co., PE and VC backed exits have surged in the past two years, doubling to $31.8 billion in 2018.
- As per Preqin, the alternative assets data tracker, India-based PE and VC fund managers were holding around $28 billion in assets under management as of June 2018.
- As part of succession planning, Rahul Bajaj will step down as the Chairman and Non-Executive Director of Bajaj Finserv from 16th May. He will continue to serve the company as Chairman Emeritus.
- Azim Premji has given away 34% of his shares in Wipro Ltd (valued at around $7.5 billion) to charitable causes. With the latest contribution, the total value of funds committed by Azim Premji Foundation’s philanthropic activities is US$21 billion.
- Bharti Airtel has roped in Telenor’s Malaysian unit former CFO Nakul Sehgal as Corporate Chief Financial Officer. Nakul will look after fundraising and Airtel Africa IPO.
- Unilever has appointed Nitin Paranjpe as its COO. Paranjpe was currently President – foods & refreshments at Unilever. Sanjiv Mehta, current CMD-HUL has also been elevated as President of Unilever-South Asia.
- M R Kumar has been appointed the Chairman of LIC for five years. He was was Zonal Manager of North Zone.
- Rajiv Bansal, former Infosys CFO, is joining DXC Technology as senior VP. Bansal had won an arbitration award against Infosys for severance fee.
- Rakesh Sharma, MD & CEO of IDBI has been proposed to be re-appointed for the next three years.