Mumbai: News broadcaster TV Today Network Ltd said on Tuesday it will spend up to Rs29.3 crore for a buy-back of up to 10% of equity.
The firm said it will buy back up to 4.78 million shares at a maximum price of Rs115 each. Shares in the company were up 0.35% at Rs57 in a weak Mumbai market. The buy-back will open on 16 March, while its last date is 30 July, the company said in a statement to the National Stock Exchange.
Bhushan Energy enters race for Orissa Sponge
Mumbai: Bhushan Energy Ltd, part of the group firm Bhushan Steel, has joined the race to bid for Orissa Sponge Iron and Steel Ltd with an offer of Rs330 per share, the manager to the issue said on Tuesday. Bhushan Energy Ltd, along with Brij Bhushan Singal, Neeraj Singal, BNS Steel Trading, BBN Transportation, BNR Infotech, BNR Consultancy Services and Bhushan Steel has made the offer for a 20% stake in Orissa Sponge, IDFC-SSKI said in a statement.
The offer opens on 24 April, closes on 13 May and betters a bid made on 25 Feb by Monnet Ispat for 20% of Orissa Sponge at Rs310 each.
Earlier, unlisted Bhushan Power and Steel Ltd, which has no economic connection with Bhushan Steel, had bid for Rs300 apiece for 26% of the target firm. The chairman of Bhushan Steel, along with his associates, holds 14.8% of Orissa Sponge after acquiring 9.5% from real estate major Unitech Ltd.
PLDT eyes India M&As, sees slower 2009
Manila: The Philippines’ largest listed company, telecoms firm Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co (PLDT), said on Tuesday it was eyeing acquisition opportunities in India that could see investments of up to $2 billion.
“I think there are opportunities in India that could have an investment range of anywhere between $500 million all the way up to $2 billion,” PLDT chairman Manuel Pangilinan said.
“It’s a market where the valuation of telcos has gone down significantly, so if we could take a look at it, it must make sense obviously for us,” Pangilinan said.
PLDT is currently “in various degrees of discussions” with several firms in India, he added, but did not disclose details. PLDT is owned by Hong Kong’s First Pacific Co Ltd and Japan’s NTT Communications and NTT DoCoMo.
ICT Group rejects Aegis $128 mn buy-out offer
New York: Business-process outsourcing firm ICT Group on Tuesday rejected a $128-million buy-out offer from Aegis Ltd, a back-office unit of India’s Essar Group.
ICT’s Board determined it would not be in the best interest of the company to pursue the transaction, it said in a statement.
The offer of $8 per share, made on Monday, was a premium of 122% at the time, compared with ICT’s closing price of $3.60 Friday. Aegis could not be immediately contacted for comment.
Shares of ICT Group, which provides outsourced customer-care services, primarily to US-based companies were trading down 24% at $4.50 before the bell. They closed at $5.91 on Monday on the Nasdaq.
HSBC open to buys in China, India and Taiwan
Hong Kong: HSBC Holdings, which walked away from a $6.3 billion agreement to buy a South Korean bank last year, continues to keep an eye open for deals in the country, its Asia chief executive said on Tuesday.
Sandy Flockhart also said the UK-based lender remains on the lookout for potential buys in core markets China, India, Indonesia and Taiwan, but said the bank’s strategy remains focused on building on its existing platform.
“Korea is in an important part of the overall structure we have within Asia,” Flockhart said, a day after HSBC posted a 62% drop in 2008 profit. The lender would look at acquisitions in key Asia markets. “Equally as well in India, if the opportunity arose to obtain a larger footprint, we’d have to consider that if the opportunity arose,” Flockhart said.
SC looks at bids for 14 Golden Forest assets
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would decide whether it would confirm the auction of the 14 properties of Golden Forests (India) Ltd (GFIL) in order to pay off investors.
The 14 properties, mostly located in Punjab and part of the total GFIL property of around 10,000 acres, were auctioned by the court-appointed committee in December 2006.
As per the court’s directions the committee has been auctioning GFIL properties. The court had earlier ordered that the final sale of the auctioned properties would be subject to its confirmation. A bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan issued notice to14 bidders of 14 properties and said it would look into the bids on 14 April.
In 2007, two Delhi-based companies Vavasi Telegence Pvt. Ltd and the Chadha Group independently submitted applications before the Supreme Court to buy out assets and liabilities of GFIL.The bench on Tuesday did not pass any order on the two applications.
GFIL,commenced its business of developing agricultural land, social forestry farms among others in 1987. It brought out several schemes for its investors, who since 1997 have filed numerous petitions in courts with the hope of getting their money back after GFIL went bust. As per court records, GFIL owes around 1.7 million investors around Rs 2,000 crore.
In 1997, after GFIL refused to register itself under the Securities Exchange Board of India, or Sebi, collective investment schemes, Sebi approached the Mumbai high court asking for orders to restrain GFIL from carry on its business without registering itself under the Sebi (collective investment schemes) regulations. In 2003, all petitions were transferred to the Supreme Court. The apex court constituted a committee, headed by retired justice R.N. Agarwal in 2004 to invite and receive claims of GFIL’s investors and depositors, evaluate GFIL’s properties and submit a report after scrutinizing the claims and assets.
— Malathi Nayak
Tata Tea must reply to Karnataka tax demand
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked Tata Tea Ltd, the owner of brands such as Tetley, to reply to a tax demand by the Karnataka government on coffee purchased from growers for export.
A bench headed by justice S.H. Kapadia asked Tata Tea to file its reply to the petition filed by the state government, which sought to overturn the Karnataka high court ruling that had gone in favor of the company.
Karnataka had demanded sales tax on the purchase of raw coffee worth Rs24.7 crore in the 1997-98 financial year. Tata Tea said it purchased raw coffee from growers, transferred it to a unit for curing and then exported it. The company held that both the raw and cured coffee were the same.
The cured coffee was exported without the payment of sales tax by seeking exemption under federal sales tax rules, Karnataka’s lawyer said.
Raw coffee and cured coffee are different in commercial parlance, said Sanjay Hegde, advocate for Karnataka. The product has undergone a transformation. The purchase of raw coffee would be taxed under the Karnataka Sales Tax Act 1957, and wasn’t liable for exemption under the federal rule, Hegde said.
Daiichi Sankyo defers open offer for Zenotech
New Delhi: Japanese drug firm Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd that acquired Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd has deferred its open offer for Hyderabad-based Zenotech Laboratories Ltd. Ranbaxy holds a 46.95% stake in Zenotech.
In a filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange, Daiichi announced that it has not yet received approval from market regulator Sebi to go ahead with the open offer to acquire 20% of Zenotech from the public shareholders.
“This is because Sebi is investigating complaints filed by shareholders of Zenotech. Sebi had asked us for some clarifications and we sent them those last week,” Jayaram Chigurupati, managing director, Zenotech told Mint.
Minority shareholders of Zenotech have been opposing Daiichi’s offer price of Rs113.62 as opposed to the Rs160 per share that Ranbaxy had paid in October 2007.
— Radheka Pandeya
FBI chief Robert Mueller meets Chidambaram
New Delhi: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) chief Robert Mueller met Union home minister P. Chidambaram here on Tuesday to discuss terrorism-related issues.
Mueller’s visit comes after India and US shared details of intelligence and investigations of the 26/11 Mumbai terror strikes—a joint effort which finally lead to admission by Islamabad that a part of the conspiracy was hatched on its soil. Mueller will also meet national security adviser M.K. Narayanan and Intelligence Bureau chief Rajiv Mathur during which the two sides will discuss security issues including countering terrorism, official sources said.
Mueller will not be meeting his counterpart, Central Bureau of Investigation chief Ashwani Kumar, during his stay in the country.
SPG gets new arms, told to be combat-ready
New Delhi: Heightened threat has led to induction of more sophisticated weapons for Special Protection Group guarding the Prime Minister and VVIPs, including Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her children, along with instructions to keep them in a state of perpetual readiness.
The SPG personnel positioned in close proximity security of the Prime Minister will now be equipped with Belgian sub-machine gun while those forming the second and third security cordon around the VVIP will have a new assualt rilfe, official sources said.
The SPG personnel have been asked to keep the safety latch of the weapons so that they could be fired without slightest delay. The decision to change the armoury and keep open the safety latch was taken after analysing previous incidents of security breaches during the tenure of then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Iin one case when a car had entered Vajpayee’s carcade, the safety latch of weapons took long to open and the firing failed to hit the intruders, raising doubts over the compatibility of the weapons. Protectees of SPG include Vajpayee, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra.