Vendanta Resources may up its stake in Hindustan Zinc

Vendanta Resources may up its stake in Hindustan Zinc

Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal’s London-based Vedanta Resources Plc. group may raise its stake in Hindustan Zinc Ltd to strengthen control of the country’s largest producer of the metal.

Agarwal’s Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd is in talks to buy the government’s 29% holding, spokesman Dhanpal Jhaveri said. Sterlite, a subsidiary of Vedanta, owns 65% and has an option to buy the government stake.

Vedanta’s interest extends a record year for takeovers and investments in commodities companies, led by BHP Billiton Ltd’s proposed $128 billion (Rs5.11 trillion) takeover of Rio Tinto Group. Zinc is the world’s worst performing metal this year, and Hindustan Zinc’s share price has dropped 25% already in the year.

“The company may not have to pay a huge premium as zinc prices have fallen sharply in the recent months," said Sanjay Makhija, vice-president at Mumbai-based Fortune Financial Services Ltd.

Mitsui to hike Indian Steel stake to 20%

Indore: Japanese firm Mitsui & Co. Ltd signed a joint venture agreement with Ruchi Group to increase its equity stake in the Indian conglomerate’s subsidiary Indian Steel Corp. Ltd from 10% to 20% for the expansion of Indian Steel to make cold-rolled steel/ galvanized and colour-coated steel products. The project, located near Kandla, in Gujarat, would be completed by 2009, and cost nearly Rs1,250 crore. Staff Writer

Askar Capital, SKIL plan $500 mn PE fund

Mumbai: Iceland-based investment bank Askar Capital has partnered with infrastructure company SKIL Infrastructure Ltd to form a $500 million (Rs1,995 crore) private equity (PE) fund. SKIL specializes in port, shipyard, railway, expressway and urban infrastructure projects. Rana Rosen

Akorn, Cipla ink drug product agreement

Mumbai:US-based pharma company Akorn Inc. and India’s Cipla Ltd have signed a 10-year agreement for an inhalation drug.

Cipla will develop, manufacture and supply the drug to Akorn, which will be responsible for regulatory compliance , marketing and distributing the drug in the US and Puerto Rico, Akorn said in a statement.

Akorn will pay Cipla milestone fees for development of the drug and expects to launch the product in 2010, the statement said. Reuters