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Top stories this week… - Views on News from Equitymaster
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  • Nov 18, 2000

    Top stories this week…

    Numero Uno…
    Essel Packaging (EP) has decided to merge the Swiss tube packaging major, Propack. Propack is the fourth largest laminated tube producer in the world and it would hold 22 percent stake in the merged entity. EP would also pay Propack a sum of US$ 11 million. The merger means that Essel Propack combine would become the largest laminated tube making company in the world with a capacity of 2 billion tubes per annum. (Nov 16)

    Kotak and Qantas for Air India…
    Kotak Mahindra, British Highways and Qantas, in collaboration with London based steel baron Laxmi Mittal has joined the race to bid for Indian Airlines and Air India. It is expected that Mittal-Kotak team will emerge as a key challenger to the Tata-Singapore Airlines consortium. Including this, there are reportedly seven bidders for Indian Airlines and Air India. (Nov 11)

    Feeling the pinch…
    Tata Engineering and Locomotives Company (TELCO) has reported a decline in sales of multi utility vehicle, cars and trucks for the October 2000. Sales have dropped by 31 percent to 12,033 trucks (17,427 in October 1999). This is primarily led by waning consumer demand and high fuel cost. As a result, the company has posted a net loss of Rs 1,500 m for the second quarter ended 30th September 2000. (Nov 11)

    World Bank to lend more…
    World Bank president John D. Wolfensohn has expressed his willingness to increase loan commitment to India to US $ 3 billion by the end of 2001 and further to US $ 4 billion per annum. The World Bank chief, however, expressed concern over the level of investment and the drop in growth rate of India. (Nov 14)

    Slow down is apparent…
    Diesel consumption, one of the primary indicators of the health of the economy has declined by 8.2 percent as per retail diesel sales and a 9 percent fall in direct sales. This when compared to 9 percent growth in the first half of fiscal year 2000 really puts forth the slow down in the economy. (Nov 15)

    Consolidation under scrutiny…
    The SVS Raghavan committee has recommended scrutiny of all mergers and acquisitions resulting in amalgamated entitles within the country having asset base of Rs 5 billion (US$ 106 million). If acquiring group has worldwide business, the threshold will be assets of over US $ 1 billion or turnover of US $ 3 billion. (Nov 15)

    Another takeover story?
    JP Industries, the construction, cement and power major could be the next take over target. Harish Bhasin well known share broker has reportedly cornered about 12 percent of the company’s equity. Mr. Jaiprakash Gaur, the promoter of JP industries, however dismissed the reports. Mr. Gaur is reported to have recently upped his stake in the company to 51 percent (Nov 16)

    Disinvestment of banks takes shape…
    The Union Cabinet has cleared the move to reduce the governments stake in banks from 51 percent to 33 percent. However, the government has clarified that it will retain management control of the aforesaid banks. There are 19 banks where the government holds the entire equity or majority of equity. (Nov 17)

    Hollywood stake…
    Columbia TriStar is in advanced talks with the Hyderabad-based Padmalaya studios to pick up a minimum 26 percent stake in the company. While Columbia TriStar initially wanted to acquire 50 percent equity, Padmalaya promoters refused to dilute more than 26 percent in the studio. (Nov 17)

    Gesco gets the upper hand…
    In the continuing battle for Gesco Corporation (Gesco), the Sheth’s-Mahindra combine have acquired 6.3 percent of Gesco’s equity share capital, at Rs 44 a share from International Finance Corporation (IFC). IFC was the second largest shareholder in the company after the promoters. With this, the counter-offer price of Sheth’s-Mahindra combine has automatically gone up to Rs 44. (Nov 18)



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