Weekly capsule of India Business News Headlines (30thApril-4th May)

Weekly Business News (30th April to 4th May 2018)

 

weekly business news

 

 

 

 

Corporates:

  • Flipkart-Walmart deal :Flipkart has bought back shares worth around $350 million from several small investors including IDG Ventures, ICONIQ Capital and DST Global. The buyback is an important step towards Flipkart converting itself into a private company as per Singapore law. If the deal goes through successfully, Sachin Bansal may reportedly exit the company.
  • Glenmark Pharmaceuticals is under regulatory scrutiny for alleged misconduct in carrying out clinical trials in Jaipur. Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation has allegedly found that fake identities were used in the clinical trials and an inquiry has been initiated.
  • In a bid to boost reach in the lower income segment, Coca-Cola has introduced Minute Maid Vitingo, a water-soluble powder priced at Rs5 per sachet, a controversial price point the firm discontinued 14 years ago.
  • Delhi high court has directed National Highway Authority of India to pay the remaining 25% of multiple arbitral awards, amounting to more than Rs2,000 crore, to Hindustan Construction within the next two weeks. 75% of the award has already been deposited by NHAI.
  • Lok Capital, the Impact investor, for the first time, is looking to invest around 15-20% of the corpus of its third fund—Lok Fund III—in technology companies working in the area of financial inclusions.Lok Capital has raised $90 million for its third fund
  • Cognizant has acquired Hedera Consulting, a move that will strengthen its consulting and digital transformation capabilities in Belgium and the Netherlands, for an undisclosed amount. Hedera specializes in business advisory and data analytics services across various sectors.
  • Indigo’s March quarter profit has fallen by 73% compared to the same quarter last year. The reasons reportedly are aircraft groundings, costlier fuel and lower yields.
  • US health regulator has made seven observations about Biocon’s sterile drug manufacturing facility in Bangalore, reportedly largely long-term and procedural improvements with no observation classified as critical.
  • EXL, an Operations management and analytics company, is acquiring SCIO Inspire Holdings, as part of a $240 million deal. SCIO is a Connecticut-based healthcare analytics solution and services company, serving over 100 healthcare organizations with 1,100 professionals in various locations across India, US and UK.
  • Top car makers of India have reported growth in sales by 11.99%. These companies include Mahindra and Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki, Toyota Kirloskar, Tata Motors and Hyundai Motors.The sales seem to have recovered because of Akshay Tritiya.
  • Sajjan Jindal’s JSW infrastructure group plans to invest Rs 8,800 crore over the next three years and also expand cargo handling capacity from current 75 mtpa to 200 mtpa. JSW infra wants to build facilities to handle LPA and LNG chemicals and bulk cargo.
  • L&T has agreed to sell its electrical unit to Schneider Electric SE for around Rs.14,000 crore which will also include company debt. After the deal is completed, Schneider will own 74%.
  • Skoda Auto is set to present an investment plan of 1 billion euros to its parent company, Volkswagen AG in the next 2-3 weeks for FDI. If approved, it will bring in the largest inflow of FDI in Indian Auto sector.
  • Metro Group is looking for acquisitions in B2B sector to help in its ongoing digitization of retail outlets in India. In the last 6-8 months, Metro has worked with around 100 retailers in Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad to digitize their businesses by giving them free software and hardware worth around Rs32,000/- each
  • After tightening rules on NRI investments in the domestic market, Sebi is now on to scrutiny of foreign funds and has asked investment and end-beneficiary-related information of foreign portfolio investors from their custodians. Sebi’s FPI regulations prohibit any foreign fund from being controlled by an NRI or PIO.
  • True North and its global sponsors have made a bid to buy out 40% stake in Royal Sundaram, which has a share of 1.8% of Indian general insurance market. As of now Sundaram Finance and other Indian shareholders hold 100% shares in the company.
  • To reduce costs and improve economies of sale, Tata Motors is leveraging its modular platform to build a range of commercial vehicles. Modularity and commonization of platforms help in reducing risks and improving vehicle reliability
  • To reduce costs and improve economies of sale, Tata Motors is leveraging its modular platform to build a range of commercial vehicles. Modularity and commonization of platforms help in reducing risks and improving vehicle reliability.
  • Housejoy, an online platform for various home services, has laid off around 40 employees across various departments due to the funding crunch. The firm has so far raised around Rs.180 Crore in funding.
  • West Bengal Industrial Development Corp. has been dragged into a bankruptcy court by Ankit Metal and Power Ltd, a small sponge iron manufacturer in a Kolkata over dues of Rs.4.08 Crores.
  • Maruti Suzuki is aiming to increase its sales by atleast 10% this year, up by 2% from the last fy. It is set to launch a new compact sedan Amaze this year.
  • Bata India has decided to expand its retail business in the coming three to five years through franchising in more than 400 small cities. The retail push would help them reach their goal of $1 billion.
  • SoftBank is ahead to achieve its $10 billion India target set in 2014 as it has already invested about $7.4 billion in various ventures, being the largest shareholder in most of them. The largest investment made by them is in Flipkart.
  • Rubique Technologies, an online lending marketplace, has raised a fresh round of funding led by Recruit Group fo Japan and Emery Capital, the Russian VC firm. Though the amount has not been disclosed, the deal is expected to be around $15-20 million.
  • Samco Ventures, which runs online discount broker platform StockNote, has raised Rs.49 Crore in a fresh round of funding. Read more on Weekly Business News

 

Policies & Practices:

  • GST council is meeting today through video conferencing and one of the most important agenda items is to simplify the tax return forms to start invoice matching to avoid tax evasion.
  • Varun Laul, a former director at US fund – Providence Equity Partners, has been appointed MD of the technology-focused fund Zodius Capital Advisors, part of Avendus Capital.
  • The government is working on the new National Telecom Policy and may ask all companies which are hosting data of Indians, to set-up servers in the country by 2022 due to reported allegations of misuse of servers located abroad for surveillance by countries and companies where they are located.
  • As per Government guidelines, Reliance shall shut oil and gas fields in KG-D6 block in Bay of Bengal due to low production and has submitted a bank guarantee for decommissioning activity. The firm has made 19 oil discoveries in the Krishna Godavari basin till date.
  • As part of its strategy to increase the number of flights on key routes, Air India has started a new direct flight from Amritsar to Bangkok, which will operate 4 times a week.
  • As part of its strategy to increase the number of flights on key routes, Air India has started a new direct flight from Amritsar to Bangkok, which will operate 4 times a week.
  • The government has met the target of connecting all Indian villages to the national electricity grid and claims to have connected 82 percent of the 170 million rural households

M&As:

  • As per EY’s private equity monthly deal tracker, Private equity and venture capital firms have invested $7.9 billion across 180 deals in the quarter ended 31 March. The major investments have been in infrastructure and real estate sectors.
  • PolicyBazaar is about to close a funding round of $200million led by SoftBank and is expected to be valued at $1billion.
  • Various companies including Greaves Cotton, Luminous and Microtek have shown interest to acquire a controlling stake in Su-Kam, currently undergoing insolvency proceedings. Su-Kam has a total unpaid debt of around Rs370 crore.
  • DSP Group and BlackRock, the world’s largest investment management firm, have entered into discussions to end their existing joint venture, DSP BlackRock, which is among the top 10 fund houses in India and managed assets worth around Rs.860 billion as of March 2018.

 

Start-ups:

  • Amazon has launched an e-commerce store, Weavesmart, for handlooms in India and work as an e-marketing partner for Ministry of Textiles for promoting Indian handlooms.

Ongoing cases:

  • WhatsApp leaks: Axis Bank has given clean chit to its officials and has ruled out any leakage of information from the bank. Bank has also committed to further tightening of the internal mechanism while dealing with price sensitive information to avoid any leakage in future.
  • Flipkart-Walmart deal: While Flipkart-Walmart discussions are in the final stage for the sale of around 55% share of Flipkart to Walmart, Amazon.com has also reportedly made a formal offer to buy a 60% stake in Flipkart. It has also reportedly offered Flipkart a breakup fee of $2 billion, while also seeking a non-compete agreement with Flipkart’s founders.
  • Fortis update – If the Manipal Hospitals-led consortium is selected as the winning bidder, then two major investors plan to vote against them for the fears that the firm is disadvantaging others without properly consulting investors.
  • Binani Cement – NCLT Kolkata bench has ruled that the lenders of Binani Cement should consider the revised offer of UltraTech Cement even as it allowed Dalmia Bharat to take over Binani Cement, to submit new bids, effectively restarting a contest between the two suitors.
  • Unitech case update – the Supreme Court has asked for a list of their personal assets which they will consider selling off if they are not able to pay money to the home buyers.
  • Fortis update : Munjal-Burmans and IHH have added new terms to strengthen their bids for the Fortis. Meanwhile, some doctors are quitting their jobs because of the uncertainty.
  • Flipkart-Walmart deal – Walmart and some other Flipkart investors, including SoftBank, are yet to agree on the final terms and the deal is expected to take around a month to be signed. SoftBank is pushing other investors to wait for the offer from Amazon.
  • Air India case: Government has extended privatization process of Air India by a fortnight, extending the deadline to 31st May. It has also clarified certain issues raised by the potential bidders.

People:

  • Group M, the media planning and buying division of WPP, has hired Sameer Singh of Google as its CEO – South Asia operations.
  • Amar Abrol has resigned as the MD and CEO of AirAsia India effective next month. As per the statement released by Air Asia, he will be moving back to the AirAsia Group headquarters in Malaysia to work on group strategic projects.
  • Anil Sardana, Former Tata Power chief, has been named as MD & CEO of Adani Transmission w.e.f. 1st May 18. Anil will bring in over three decades of experience in power and infrastructure sector to Adani Transmission.
  • Vidhi, daughter of Dilip Sanghvi which owns Sun Pharmaceutical, India’s largest drugmaker, has been inducted as the Head of Consumer Healthcare business.
  • Ashish Khandelia, Director of Capital Markets, KKR India has resigned and is said to be working on to set up his own fund. Under his leadership, KKR invested approx. $1 billion in various real estate projects.

 

Here we cover the essential Weekly Business News, hope it is helpful for you. Don’t forget to give your feedback.

*News as published in Business Standard, Live Mint and Economic Times.

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