Indian Hotels Company, the hospitality chain owned by the Tatas, has placed an acquisition bid for Orient-Express Hotel, a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The company currently holds over 71 lakh 'Class A' shares of Orient-Express aggregating to 6.9% equity stake, acquired in stages during 2007 and 2009. The board of Indian Hotels Company (IHC) has given 'in-principle' approval to the management to make an offer to the Orient-Express board seeking their consent for acquiring the balance outstanding 93.1% Class A common shares of the US hotel chain. Indian Hotels made $1.86 billion offer to acquire the international luxury hotels operator, terming the all-cash offer as compelling.
Pennar Industries' subsidiary Pennar Engineered Building Systems, has secured multiple orders worth Rs 50 crore from IOT Infrastructure & Energy Services (IOT), Oil Country Tubular (OCTL), Dynatron Services and East Line Steels. The order received from IOT Infrastructure & Energy Services (IOT) is for design, manufacture, supply and installation of a product warehouse package on EPC basis. IOT is a joint venture between Indian Oil Corporation and Oil Tanking, Germany. The project is located at ONGC Petro Chemical Complex, Dahej, Gujarat, while the total area of the project is 128,250 sqm. Additionally, order from Oil Country Tubular (OCTL) bagged by the company is for designing, manufacturing, supplying and installing a pipe processing plant building, near Narketpalli, Andhra Pradesh. The project is expected to be completed in 14 weeks.
Tata Motors will focus on selling SUVs in North India, as this segment in the region grew by nearly 60 percent compared to 30 percent across the country in last six months. Sales of SUVs in Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and UT Chandigarh grew by 58 percent in last six months, which is almost double of the sales growth nationwide during the same period. The market size of SUVs in the country is pegged at 40,000 units a month. Tata Motors posted a growth of 6-7 per cent in passenger car business in last six months.
AstraZeneca Pharma India has launched its patented antiplatelet drug Brilinta, used to prevent heart attack, after receiving approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI). Based on the New Drug Advisory Committee's (NDAC) recommendations, the DCGI granted approval on May 2012 for marketing Brilinta (Ticagrelor) tablets in India. Brilinta, an oral antiplatelet treatment for Acute Coronary Syndromes (ACS) in adult patients, is competitively priced to enable patients benefit from having access to this medicine. The drug works by preventing the formation of new blood clots and maintains blood flow in the body to help reduce patient's risk of another heart attack or cardiovascular- related death.
Auto major Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) is developing three new engine platforms, along with its Korean subsidiary SsangYong Motor, which are likely to hit the roads in the next two-three years in markets across the world. Both companies are developing the engines keeping in mind India, South Korea and other markets around the world. M&M will put in Rs 4,000 crore in the next three years, while SsangYong will make an investment of Rs 1,500 crore. Besides, the company who also sells tractor is hopeful of growing better than the industry in the second half of the fiscal on the back of late pick-up in monsoons and the resultant boost to summer crops. During the first half, overall tractor sales fell 5 percent in the country but because of its significant presence in the southern market and also in Maharashtra, the company has been hit harder.
Voltas, the country's leading residential air-conditioner maker, plans to launch its own refrigerators, washing machines and microwave ovens after forming a joint venture with Turkish white goods maker Arcelik AS for technology transfer, product development and manufacturing. The Tata Group company is set to sign a joint-venture deal with Arcelik. The venture will be limited to product development and manufacturing, and may set up a new plant in the country. This would be the second coming of Voltas into the home appliances space, a segment it had vacated in late 1990s by selling its Allwyn brand to Electrolux. The move comes on the heels of Voltas overtaking Korean rival LG India to become the market leader in the residential air-conditioner space. While Voltas and Arcelik have completed the market feasibility study, they are yet to decide on the ownership structure of the proposed joint venture.
Indian cement makers ACC and Ambuja Cements stated that an expected pick up in demand in the coming months could be offset by rising road transport and fuel costs, as they reported higher quarterly profit on the back of increased prices. Demand for cement in India, the world's second-largest producer after China, is expected to rise about 8 percent during fiscal year 2013. ACC and Ambuja - both controlled by Swiss group Holcim, the world's second-largest cement producer - along with rivals Jaiprakash Associates and Ultratech Cement - account for about 50 percent of India's cement market. While average cement prices across India have increased by more than 20 percent over the last 12 months, contributing to higher profits, a hike of 14 percent in diesel prices since September will squeeze margins in coming quarters.
Shriram Transport Finance Company (STFC) plans to enter the gold loan business from November. But the company will not compete with established players such as Muthoot Finance and Manappuram Finance, as the new service will be limited to existing customers. The company targets a disbursal of Rs 5 crore a month. STFC had started disbursals of gold loans in May 2010 on behalf of its group company Shriram City Union Finance, (SCUF), whose main presence is in south India. Compared with SCUF, STFC has more branches in other parts of the country.
Poly Medicure is on an expansion spree. The company plans to spend over Rs 100 crore on building a new unit in Jaipur and adding more capacity to its existing facilities in India in the next two years. Poly Medicure currently has facilities in Faridabad and Haridwar, which will be further expanded. Besides, it is also planning a new capacity in Jaipur Special Economic Zone (SEZ), which will mainly cater to exports to Europe. The facility will be ready by middle of 2013. Out of Rs 100 crore, the company plans to spend around Rs 35 crore on the new facility in Jaipur and the rest of the amount will be spent on expansion of the existing units for domestic markets.
Dhunseri Petrochem & Tea has received its board's approval to sell of one tea factory namely, Shreemoni Tea Factory situated at P. O. Tingkhong, Assam, to Joonktollee Tea & Industries at a consideration of Rs 7.65 crore, subject to the approval of the shareholders. Dhunseri Petrochem & Tea is the flagship company of the Kolkata based Dhunseri group belonging to Dhanuka family. The company is engaged in cultivation, manufacture and sale of tea with 11 tea gardens (all of them located in and around Assam) and manufacturing of PET resins.