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Blackstone deal gets FIPB nod

Blackstone deal gets FIPB nod

New Delhi: The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) has approved the Blackstone Group’s revised foreign direct investment proposal for a stake in Ushodaya Enterprises Ltd, the publisher of the largest selling Telugu daily, Eenadu.

The revised deal is about half of the original $275 million deal that Blackstone had proposed in January 2007 for a 26% stake in Ushodaya. As Mint has previously reported, that deal has been held up for almost a year amid a series of queries involving other business interests of Ramoji Rao, who, along with his family, owns the majority stake in Ushodaya.

Confirming the clearance, a senior government official, who did not wish to be identified but is close to the development, said the new investment will be for less than Rs600 crore was cleared at a special meeting of the FIPB.

The proposal is now awaiting clearance by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, who also oversees FIPB.

Initially, Blackstone proposed to invest $275 million, or about Rs1,080 crore, in Ushodaya, for a 26% stake.

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