Reliance Industries (RIL) is awaiting government approval for two gas discoveries it has made in the Krishna Godavari basin deep sea block. RIL has so far made four consecutive gas discoveries in the KG-DWN-2003/1 (D3) block that sits in the same area as its now producing KG-D6 gas fields. Of these four finds, two have so far not been declared commercial by the government, a step necessary before they can be put to production. RIL, which is the operator of the block with 60 percent interest, has so far made four consecutive gas discoveries -- Dhirubhai 39, 41, 44 and 52 in the block. Hardy holds 10 percent interest while the rest 30 percent is held by BP Plc.
Tata Power, India's largest integrated power company, has acquired 26% stake in PT Baramulti Sukses Sarana Tbk (BSSR), Indonesia through its 100% subsidiary Khopoli Investments, and is now a 26% shareholder in BSSR. PT Antang Gunung Meratus (AGM), a 100% subsidiary of the BSSR, and BSSR together own approximately 1 billion tonnes of coal resources in South and East Kalimantan in Indonesia. BSSR has listed its shares at the Indonesian Stock Exchange. Earlier, the company had signed a long term coal supply agreement with AGM, a 100% subsidiary of the Indonesian company BSSR. Tata Power's existing Indonesia presence includes 30% equity stake in PT Kaltim Prima Coal (KPC) and PT Arutmin Indonesia (Al). As part of the purchase, Tata Power has signed an off-take agreement which entitles it to purchase about 10 million tonnes of coal per annum. Additionally, a consortium comprising of Tata Power, Origin Energy and PT Supraco is developing a geothermal project in Indonesia with approximately 240 MW of generation capacity.
Infosys has won a five-year contract from Ministry of Corporate Affairs worth about $50 million to implement its e-governance solution MCA 21 v2. The MCA 21 v2 is a continuation of the existing MCA 21 project. Infosys will revamp the existing application after the transition from the incumbent vendor and manage the overall transformation to MCA21 v2. The MCA21 project introduced electronic filing, doing away with the need for the filing of paper-based records among its Registrars of Companies and Regional Directors. Recently, Infosys had been selected by the Department of Posts for its Rs 700 crore project to help India Post transform its banking and insurance operations cross 1.5 lakh post offices in the country.
Mumbai-based Sun Pharmaceutical Industries is set to acquire US-based DUSA Pharmaceuticals, Inc, a dermatology company focused on developing and marketing its Levulan (aminolevulinic acid HCl) photodynamic therapy platform. The two companies entered into a definitive agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, a 100% subsidiary of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries will commence a tender offer for all of the outstanding common stock of DUSA at a price of $8.00 per share in cash, a 38% premium to the closing price of DUSA's common stock on November 7, 2012. The transaction has a total cash value of approximately $230 million. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies and DUSA's board has recommended that the company's shareholders tender their shares pursuant to the tender offer.
Liquor major Diageo and Vijay Mallya's United Spirits are widely believed to have clinched a transaction giving the British company complete control over India's largest spirits producer, the makers of McDowell and Bagpiper whiskies. As per the terms of the deal, Diageo will buy more than 25% of United Spirits in three stages, including the purchase of some stake held by Vijay Mallya. Diageo will invest some money in the company and make an open offer. Depending upon the success of the offer, Diageo's ultimate stake will be anywhere between 45-51%. The British company is expected to pay Rs 1,500-1,600 per share. Diageo will pay around $2 billion for buying a 51% stake.
Telecom major Vodafone India has joined hands with ICICI Bank to launch a mobile money transfer and payment service. Vodafone India through its 100 percent subsidiary Mobile Commerce Solutions and ICICI Bank have finalized plans to launch mobile payment services this year, under the brand name `m-pesa'. The offering will comprise a mobile money account with ICICI Bank and a Mobile Wallet issued by MCSL. The service will be launched initially in the eastern region -- West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand, and then rolled out in elsewhere in phases. The facility will offer cash deposit and withdrawal from designated outlets, money transfer to any mobile phone in the country, and mobile payment services including purchase of mobile recharge, recharge of DTH services and utility bill payments, money transfer to any bank account in the country and payments at select shops.
FMCG firm Nestle India has opened its first research and development centre in India to further its understanding of Indian consumers and to provide scientific and technological expertise to rest of its global business. The company has invested 50 million Swiss Francs (about Rs 287 crore) in the centre which has come up at Manesar in Haryana. As with all Nestle's R&D centres, it will be a part of the company's worldwide R&D network enabling Nestle to acquire local knowledge and use it on a global scale. The centre which will specialize in Asian noodles and cooking will focus on developing highly nutritious, affordable products in appropriate serving sizes for lower income consumers. With opening of this centre the company aims to extend the range of mainstream products it currently offers in the country particularly in noodles, cereals and dairy categories.
JSW Steel has almost abandoned the transfer of its Mozambique coal mines to utility JSW Energy, breaching a promise it made to investors at the time of the initial public offering of the power producer. The mines possesses more of coking coal, an input for steel making, rather than thermal coal used to fire power plants. Also, lack of infrastructure in the African nation to transport the coal and the nature of the fuel makes it less useful to the power producer. The Mozambique asset could have helped JSW Energy lower costs which have been otherwise high due to the lack of captive coal to run its thermal plants. JSW Energy has been hit by the double whammy of rising fuel prices and weak merchant power prices, as the company had adopted a strategy which leaned more in favour of short-to-medium term agreements on both sides.
State run banks will be able to take a final decision on their lending towards the beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines only after December 31. Central Bank of India, which has an exposure of Rs 350 crore towards Kingfisher Airlines, stated that the bank will toe the line which the 17 bank consortium will take. The Government has done its part by allowing FDI in domestic airlines and now it is Mallya's turn to bring in the funds. Kingfisher Airlines has an outstanding exposure of around Rs 7,000 crore towards 11 state-run banks. SBI, the leader of the consortium, has an exposure of Rs 1,458 crore. Much of the lending to the grounded airline has already been classified as NPA.