India business news headlines weekly roundup 1st to 6th April 2019

Here’s a roundup of all the India business news that created the buzz in India this week:

Corporates

  • As part of its strategy to become a full-fledged hospitality chain, Oyo is planning to create cloud kitchen brands and has already started a pilot run. The core idea is to standardize food across Oyo properties.
  • The central government has sold 4.3 crore seized shares of Wipro for Rs.1100 crores, a majority of which have been bought over by LIC. These shares belonged to Pakistani Nationals and were seized under the Enemy Property Act.
  • After the expiry of exclusivity period agreement between Medanta and Manipal-TPG, KKR has also launched its bid for taking over Medanta Hospitals.

India business news headlines weekly roundup 1st to 6th April

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  • The deal of sale of Uber Eats to Swiggy has reportedly hit a hurdle of tax and legal issues and may now proceed only after Uber’s IPO coming up in the next 2-3 months.
  • BSNL employee union has opposed the government’s proposal for VRS. They have also alleged that BSNL has not been allocated 4G spectrum needed for its business growth.
  • JSW Group has announced its entry into the furniture business to enter into the consumer-facing segment. The group will invest around Rs.250 crores over the next five years.
  • Cloudtail, the largest vendor of Amazon, is looking to exit the food segment. It is now enrolling independent vendors to sell imported food products.
  • ICICI Bank has filed an application with the Supreme Court for being made a party in the case filed by Daiichi Sankyo against Malvinder Singh to recover their dues of Rs.250 crores.
  • Accor Group is looking to introduce a few of its global brands including Raffles Hotels, Fairmont to India. As of now, the group has only 51 hotels in India and the firm is looking to have around 200-300 hotels in the country.
  • Tata Projects have got an order worth USD 321 million from Nuclear Power Corporation of India. It’s their third contract in the nuclear power sector.
  • Madurai Bench of Madras High Court has directed the Central Government to prohibit download of TikTok app on the grounds that the platform serves explicit and inappropriate content which may be harmful to children. In its interim order, it has also asked media organizations not to telecast the videos made using TikTok mobile app. Next hearing on the petition will be on 16th April.
  • Advertising Standards Council of India has upheld complaints against 230 advertisements among a total of 290 advertisements evaluated for misleading product ads. Out of these, 106 belong to education, 61 to healthcare, 32 to F&B, 9 to the personal care sector and 22 to ‘others’ category.
  • Advocacy groups have said that blocking of websites like Reddit and Telegram in India by ISPs is throwing into question the enforcement of net neutrality rules. Restrictions on “torrent sites” that offer free movie and music downloads are routine in India to prevent copyright infringement. But recently websites like Reddit, Telegram and College Humor have been blocked for intermittent periods, often for days and sometimes only in some regions.
  • Wipro has reportedly lost an SAP maintenance project from Nike due to delay in implementation of the software. The deal size is being pegged anywhere between $10 to 40 million.
  • Ikea is looking for downtown sites in top cities in India after realizing that many customers do not want to drive to their out-of-town stores

Some more news from Corporates

  • WhatsApp has launched an India-focused fact-checking feature to combat fake news and rumors. People can now report uncertain information or rumours they receive to a WhatsApp number (+91-9643-000-888) and check its authenticity.
  • EU is taking India into WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism over the imposition of import duties on certain ICT products including mobile phones.
  • Banks will now have the discretion to take defaulting companies to NCLT under IBC. Supreme Court has quashed RBI’s circular prescribing rules for recognizing one-day defaults by large corporates.
  • Congress Party has sought a list of pages taken down by Facebook said to be affiliated to the party.
  • Zomato has added 17 more cities to its service areas taking the total number of cities it serves to 213.
  • RBI shall launch an auction on 23rd April to buy dollars worth around 5 billion from banks to infuse liquidity into the system.
  • Trai has issued a show-cause notice to BARC India for not complying with its direction to release TV viewership data on the website.
  • Facebook has said to have taken down over 1100 pages, groups and accounts from its platform as also from Instagram linked with Congress, BJP and Pakistan as part of its attempt to curb the spread of misinformation during elections.
  • Citibank N.A. has settled a case with Sebi for Rs.4.5 Crores regarding the bank’s alleged failure to adequately supervise an employee who carried out an unregistered portfolio investment scheme.
  • Flipkart is almost doubling its tech base in Israel after acquiring Upstream, an analytics startup.

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More in India business news headlines weekly roundup 1st to 6th April

  • KKR is selling its stake in HDFC for $300 million with around 15% gain.
  • Titan has increased its stake in CaratLane to 69.47% for Rs.99.99 crore.
  • Drugs Control Organization of Rajasthan has said that Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo contains ‘harmful ingredients’ and has labeled some samples of J&J’s baby shampoo as not of standard quality.
  • Welspun Corp has signed an agreement with Laptev Finance to sell its plates and coils mill division for Rs.848.5 crores.
  • SpiceJet has launched 28 new flights under UDAN scheme.
  • Some ex-Tata group employees including Mukund Rajan and Govind Sankaranarayanan have partnered with Ajit Dayal, founder of Quantum Advisors, to set up a fund to invest in smaller stocks to help management improve in areas such as corporate governance. The team expects to get regulatory approval for the tentatively named Active Engagement Fund by May and seeks to raise and invest $1 billion in the next three year

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Policies & Practices

  • After the recent Supreme Court ruling, RBI will issue a revised circular to Banks on how to deal with delinquent borrowers. SC ruled that a blank direction to start insolvency proceedings against defaults was ultra vires.
  • RBI will soon prescribe timelines for resolution of various issues related to digital payments including reverse failed transactions, customer disputes, etc.

Some more India business news headlines weekly roundup 1st to 6th April

M&As and tie-ups

  • Mukesh Ambani and Sunil Mittal are reportedly considering competing for a stake in Zee Entertainment. Bharti Airtel has started the due diligence process.
  • Oyo has entered into a JV with SoftBank to launch its hotel business in Japan. Oyo will have a 50% stake while SoftBank Corp and its Vision Fund will hold 25% each.
  • Reliance Jio has acquired 87% stake in Haptik Infotech, an AI chatbot company, for Rs.700 crores.
  • Wipro’s industrial automation business arm, WIN Automation, has acquired Incite Cam Centre’s automation business for around Rs.20 Crores. It will help WIN to address turnkey physical automation projects and digital factory initiates.

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Start-up world, funds, fundings, and investments

  • Many lending startups in India are planning to raise fresh equity due to ease down of the liquidity situation.
  • Zoomcar is in talks to raise around $500 million in a fresh round of funding led by Mahindra and Mahindra. If the deal goes through, Zoomcar’s valuation may shoot up to around $1 billion.
  • Metropolis Healthcare has raised Rs.530 crores by selling shares to anchor investors.
  • Mswpite has raised $30 million from its existing investors including Eduardo Saverin, co-founder Facebook. The firm has raised around $80 million till date.
  • Sequoia Capital is looking to raise its maiden seed fund in India of around $200 million to fund early-stage deals.
  • TAL Education Group, a Beijing based education and technology enterprise, has invested around Rs.35 crores in Vedantu, a live online tutoring company.
  • Airbnb Inc. has invested an undisclosed amount in Oyo. The investment is said to be around $150-200 million. The deal will allow Oyo’s villas and homes in India, Dubai and other markets to be listed on Airbnb.
  • Pacific Alliance Group, a leading Asian PE Manager, is set to open an office in India and has roped in Nikhil Srivastava, Director KKR as head of its India PE operations. PAG manages assets amounting to over $20 billion.
  • Ajay Piramal-led Piramal Group has roped in Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, largest pension fund manager of Canada, as an anchor investor for a total commitment of around $2 billion to acquire operating renewable energy and roads assets.
  • Everstone will sell its entire stake of 70% in Rubicon Research for Rs.1,000 crore which it had bought in 2016 for Rs.220 crores. Rubicon is into R&D and manufacturing of branded and specialty generic and OTC products.
  • Zivame has raised Rs.60 crore as part of a bridge round led by Zodius Technology and a group of HNIs.
  • CoWrks is planning to raise $350 million in equity to fund domestic and foreign expansion. The firm has appointed Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Merrill Lynch for the fundraising.
  • Nykaa has raised $14.4 million in a fresh round of funding from TPG Growth Capital. The firm’s valuation now stands at $734 million.
  • DSG Consumer Partners has marked the first close of DSGCP III, its $50 million third fund, at $30 million. The fund will focus on seed and Series A investments in consumer brands in India and Southeast Asia.

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There’s more in India business news headlines weekly roundup 1st to 6th April

Some stats

  • As per a report from Thomson Reuters, the total number of M&A deals struck in India during Jan-Mar were valued at $25.8 billion, falling 12.9% compared to the same quarter in 2018.
  • As per Venture Intelligence, there were PE and VC investments of $6.5 billion in India during March 2019. The figure is triple the amount invested in February.
  • As per a joint study by Assocham & PwC, India is expected to be among the top ten entertainment and media markets globally in terms of absolute numbers by 2021.

Ongoing cases

  • Jet Airways update-
    • The banks will invite bids for a stake sale in the airline on 6th April which will be completed in a time-bound manner. In the absence of any satisfactory bids, lenders may explore initiating bankruptcy proceedings against the airline.
    • Naresh Goyal has said that he has agreed to every term and condition laid down by lenders to ensure timely release of funds for the airline.
    • Suresh Prabhu, the Civil Aviation Minister, has ruled out any intervention in the commercial matters of Jet Airways.
    • Civil aviation secretary P.S. Kharola has told that less than 30 aircraft of Jet Airways are operational as of now.
    • DGCA has approved the summer schedule of Jet Airways flights only till the 25th April only while the flight schedule of all other domestic airlines have been approved till 26 October.
    • SBI has proposed a new plan to revive the airline involving a total fund infusion of Rs.9,535 crore, and exit Naresh Goyal and Etihad. The plan includes an equity infusion of Rs.3,800 crore by two unidentified investors and Rs.850 crore equity infusion by state-run lenders led by SBI.
    • Jet Airways pilots have given time to the airline till 15th Apr to clear salary dues. Salaries from Jan to March of around Rs.320 crore are currently pending.
  • Essar Steel – ArcelorMittal has started getting its India team ready to run Essar Steel. They have taken up office space in Mumbai for its India office and have also hired Korn Ferry to identify CXOs for its India team.
  • IL&FS case – Serious Fraud Investigation Office has arrested Hari Sankaran, former MD & and vice-chairman of IL&FS.

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People

  • Rajan Anandan, VP Google India and South-East Asia, is leaving the firm to join Sequoia Capital India as MD.
  • Vinod Dasari has taken over as CEO of Royal Enfield, just after one day of ending his term with Ashok Leyland. He will also join the board of Eicher Motors as ED
  • Alok Sama, President and CFO of SoftBank International Holdings is leaving the firm after about 5 years of joining. Alok helped SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son close some of his biggest deals.

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