Weekly Business News
- Amazon is setting up five more warehouses in Gurgaon, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Vijayawada. With the addition of these fulfillment centres, Amazon will have a total of 67 fulfillment centres in 13 states. FCs are warehouses where sellers can stock their inventory.
- National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority has permitted Abbott Healthcare to discontinue selling its premium metallic stent, Xience Alpine Premium, from the Indian market. Due to regulatory intervention on stent prices, Abbott had applied for withdrawal of its high-end stents last year.
- National Highways Authority of India has signed its first toll-operate-transfer agreement with Sydney-based Macquarie Group. Under the agreement, Macquarie will make an upfront payment of Rs9,681.5 crore within 120 days of the signing the contract. This is one of the largest foreign investments in India’s public infrastructure.
- Income tax appellate tribunal has rejected government’s move to reclassify discounts offered by Flipkart as capital expenditure. Flipkart argued that the company needs to incur such expenses to sell its products and retain its market share while the tax department treated such expenses as capital expenditure as this creates brand value and marketing intangibles for Flipkart.
- Swedish investor AB Kinnevik, which holds 18% stake in Quikr, has cut its estimate of Quikr’s valuation by 12% to $885 million as of 31 December 2017.
- Essar Group has completed sale of its Equinox Business Park in Mumbai’s Bandra-Kurla Complex to Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management for Rs.2,400 crore. Equinox Business Park is spread across 10 acres, has 4 towers with leasable office space of around 1.25 million sq. ft.
- Three US-based private equity funds, Advent International, The Carlyle Group and General Atlantic, have been shortlisted to acquire a controlling stake in Pepe Jeans’s Indian arm, which is looking at a valuation of Rs2,000 crore.
- Edelweiss and Kotak may buy Avantha’sdebt of Rs.4,300 crore from a group of lenders led by Axis Bank. The consortium is yet to take final call with both firms seeking a 50% haircut.
- Paytm is in advanced talks to acquire ticket booking platform TicketNew from Alibaba Pictures. The deal, expected to be around $30-40 million, may be completed by next month.
- Jet Airways has signed a code-share agreement with Aeromexico for travel commencing 1 May, 2018 between Delhi and Mumbai and Mexico via Heathrow airport and the companies will use each other’s codes on the flights at these sectors.
- In his first formal address to investors as CEO of Infosys, Salil Parekh pledged to stabilize and turn around the company in three years as also presented a three-year roadmap to restore firm’s position as the leader of India’s $167 billion IT industry.
- FII holding in Infosys dropped to 35.24% at the end of March 2018 as against 38.31% at the end of March 2017. At least three long-standing foreign investors of the company’s have pared their holdings.
- BlackRock Inc., world’s largest asset manager with assets of $6.3 trillion, is ready to enter distressed debt space in India and is on the lookout for a MD who will focus on distressed and NPA opportunities in India. As per RBI data, as on 31 December 2017, India had close to Rs8.41 trillion in NPAs
- Private equity fund True North is in advanced talks to buy 26% stake in Fedbank Financial Services for Rs400 crore. The transaction is expected to be completed within the next few weeks.
- Tata power’s plan to monetize its non-core assets has been put into motion by signing a deal which sells the Tata Advanced Systems Ltd.’s strategic engineering division engaged in the defence industry for Rs. 2,230 crores. Read more on Weekly Business News
Policies & Practices:
- The government is likely to release a draft of new National Telecom Policy on 1st May to seek public comments.
- Another meeting of GST council is set to be held on May 4 to simplify tax return forms as also discuss the amendments required in indirect tax regime rules.
- The Government has decided to set up a task force to frame National Policy on E-Commerce, which will come out with a set of recommendations in 5-6 months.
- Trump administration is planning to propose to end allowing spouses of H1-B visa holders to work legally in the US. The move could have a devastating impact on thousands of Indians. As of June 2017, US has issued employment authorisation documents to more than 71,287 spouses of H-1B visa holders, over 90% of whom are Indians.
- As reported by Paytm, 100 million Paytm users have completed its KYC. It also claims to have 280 million mobile wallet users and five million merchant partners on its platform.
- Around 15 profitable airports, including Chennai and Ahmedabad, could be put under private management in the first privatisation initiative by NDA Government. The move is part of government’s move to enhance India’s aviation infrastructure.
- Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is likely to buy a minority stock in Flipkart after the Walmart deal, which is expected to be announced soon.
- Future Group is set to launch an app like Amazon Prime and will use Easyday stores for delivery of groceries. They will be competing with players like Amazon, Grofers and BigBasket
- Airtel and Indus Towers have agreed to merge their businesses to create world’s largest tower company outside China. The combined entity will own more than 163,000 towers, second only to China Tower
- The Board of Music Broadcast has approved acquisition of Friends 91.9 FM radio of Ananda Offset in Kolkata by way of slump sale. The transaction will allow MBL to tap Kolkata market, one of the top five markets in India, as also to explore the large potential it offers from national advertisers.
- KedaaraCapitla and Partners group is in advance talks to buy Vishal Mega Marg from TPG and Shriram Group, its current owners, for around Rs.5000-5300 Crores. The current owners had acquired Vishal retail for Rs.70 Crore.
- Maruti Suzuki has added Rs. 5,000 crore to its current fiscal for capex. It has also earmarked Rs. 1,000 crore for new dealerships and buying land parcels. It invested Rs.790 crores last year for the same.
- Shopclues will open its first offline store in Lucknow next month to showcase private labels and products across various categories like fashion, accessories, smartphones etc.
- BigBasket is in early talks to invest in two smaller grocery delivery start-ups DailyNinja and Milkbasket as this will speed up its capabilities in the micro-delivery space.
- Google is launching a three month India focussed mentoring programme for startups which are building solutions using technologies like AI and machine learning. It will select 8 to 10 startups for the program.
- Urbanpod, the Capsule hotel firm is looking to expand its model in 8 more cities and is looking to raise Rs.20 crore. Urbanpod is looking to introduce capsule hotels at railway stations and pilgrimage centres across the country. The term ‘Pod’ is derived from their pod-sized rooms fitted with a bed.
- Healthcare startup Doxper has raised Rs.7.3 Crore in funding from its existing investors. Doxper allows clinicians to instantly digitise their case sheets.
- Capital Float, a digital lending firm, has raised $22 million in equity funding from Amazon Inc., taking total equity funding in the firm to $107 million. The firm had earlier raised debt financing of $130 million from various banks.
- Biz Stone, Twitter’s co-founder, has invested in ‘Visit’ a Delhi based healthcare startup. Visit uses an AI-based bot in its app to help users choose from a pool of medical specialists and general physicians for consultation.
- Think tank set up by the government to deliberate on e-commerce sector and cross-border digital trade related issues will hold its first meeting on April 24. It is led by Suresh Prabhu, commerce and industry minister and comprises officials from finance, corporate affairs, home affairs, electronics and information technology ministries. Representatives of various Industry chambers would also be participating.
- Fortis case: Fortis Healthcare has invited Suvalaxmi Chakraborty, Indrajit Banerjee and Ravi Rajagopal to join its board as independent directors before a board meeting on Friday. These were recommended shareholders of the National Westminster Bank Plc, East Bridge Capital Master Fund and East Bridge Capital Master Fund which together hold 12.04% in Fortis Healthcare.
- Fortis case: Just one day before the bidding deadline, Manipal Hospital Enterprises-TPG Capital combine submitted a revised bid offering to infuse Rs750 crore upfront matching the offer of Munjals and Burmans.– Fortis sale may be delayed further as Renuka Ramnath has exited advisory panel citing pre-occupation. The advisory panel was set to submit recommendations on bids today.
- Fortis update: Munjals and Burmans have extend their bid validity for Fortis Healthcare till May 4. They had earlier revised their offer of Rs 12.5 billion to Rs 15 billion. The move comes in the backdrop of the decision of Board of Fortis Healthcare to select new investors.
- Fortis case: Bidding war for control of Fortis Healthcare has reached its final stage with IHH Healthcare Bhd making a binding offer of Rs.650 crore for immediate infusion. It has also offered to invest an additional Rs3,350 crore subject to due diligence.
- Government has issued fresh notices to Facebook and Cambridge Analytica seeking detailed responses on the misuse of Indians’ data as it found the responses sent by Cambridge Analytica unsatisfactory, cryptic and evasive.CambridgeAnalytica had said that it collected data in India only from first party research instruments or opinion surveys.
- Videocon loan case: I-T dept has issued fresh notice to Deepak Kochhar in his individual capacity seeking details of his personal finances & transactions as also share valuation report for investment in NuPower Renewables along with company’s financial reports.
- PNB fraud: Armed with fugitive offenders law, ED is set to move Prevention of Money Laundering Act court in Delhi or Mumbai for permission to accord “fugitive” status to both Nirav Modi and MehulChoksi. While ED has already provisionally attached assets worth Rs7,600 crore belonging to Nirav Modi and Choksi, after the Court permission, these assets will be seized by the government.
- Binani Cement update: Kolkata bench of NCLT has finished hearing in the dispute over insolvency resolution at Binani Cement with Dalmia Bharat insisting that there was no question of allowing the revised bid of Ultratech Cement. NCLT has reserved the order as of now. Dalmia Bharat has offered Rs.6,932.46 crore whereas Ultratech has raised its bid to Rs7,960 crore.
- Monnet Ispatupdate : Kotak Bank, which has to recover around Rs.73 Crores, has approved debt resolution plan for Monnet Ispat submitted jointly by JSW Steel Ltd and AION Capital Partners.
- Essar Steel sale: Fresh hurdle for Numetal, ArcelorMittal in NCLT order who has given them one month to fix their ineligibility. As per the order, both of them must clear debts in defaulting companies where they hold stakes before bidding for the Essar Steel.
- Bhushan Steel update : NCLT has asked Bhushan Steel creditors to consider the bid of Liberty House and said that the bid cannot be rejected solely on the ground of being submitted after the deadline.
- Bhushan steel update: Liberty house has offered Rs.26,000 for acquiring Bhushan Steel. The offer has put Liberty house in the same stature as Tata Steel and JSW. Tata Steel had offered Rs.17,000 crore and Rs.7,200 crore upfront and for the operations of Bhushan respectively.
- Anmol Ambani, the eldest son of Anil Ambani, has been inducted on boards of Reliance Nippon Life and Reliance Home Finance. He is currently ED of Reliance Capital
- Tata Sons has named S. Jaishankar, ex-foreign secretary, as its Global corporate affairs head. He will report to N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons and will be responsible for group’s global corporate affairs and international strategy development.
- The President of Indigo, Mr. Aditya Ghosh is resigning from his post effective 31st of July. Rahul Bhatia, airlines promoter, will take over as interim CEO.
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*News as published in Business Standard, Live Mint and Economic Times.