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M&M bets on electric cars
Wed, 26 May 11:30 am

Indian markets consolidated their opening gains over the last two hours of trade. Buying interest was seen in heavy weights particularly from the realty and IT space. Marginal buying interest was seen in stocks from the FMCG space.

BSE-Sensex is trading up by 246 points while NSE-Nifty is trading 74 points above the dotted line. BSE-Midcap index is trading higher by 1.1% while the BSE-Smallcap index is trading 1.4% above yesterday's closing. The rupee is trading at 47.49 to the US dollar.

As per a leading financial daily, India's largest sport utility vehicles (SUV) manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) is looking to acquire stake in Reva Electric Car Company (RECC). M&M is believed to be in talks with private equity players Global Environment Fund and Draper Fisher Jurvetson to buy their stake in the Bangalore-based electric carmaker manufacturer. Global Environment Fund and Draper Fisher Jurvetson who in 2006 had invested US$ 20 m in RECC are nearing the strategic exit. Their stake in the company is currently estimated at US$ 100 m.

RECC is a joint venture between Maini Group and California-based AEV LLC. The first car was launched in 2001 and since then the company has sold over 3,500 cars, including 1,000 in India. RECC has presence in over 24 countries and is setting up its second plant in Bangalore at a cost of Rs 300 m. This plant is expected to be operational in 2011 and will have an annual capacity of 30,000 units. Last year, the company entered into a technology agreement with General Motors. This agreement also includes the sale of Reva cars through General Motor dealers. After the acquisition of Renault's stake in Logan, this move is seen as M&M's attempt to gain entry in a nascent car market of electric vehicles.

As per a press release, Marico Limited has acquired the aesthetics business of Singapore based Derma Rx Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. (Derma Rx). While the details of the deal have not been disclosed, Derma Rx, will become a whole owned subsidiary of Kaya Limited after this deal. Derma Rx currently operates 4 clinics (3 in Singapore and 1 in Kuala Lumpur) and has a turnover of Rs 500 m.

This acquisition is expected to be EPS accretive and will provide Kaya access to an advanced range of skin care products and a strong sourcing network. Marico is expected to introduce Derma Rx products at clinics in India and the Middle East. This would enable Kaya to increase its share of revenue, from sale of products, from the current level of about 13% to over 20%. Moreover, with this acquisition, 45% of Kaya's revenues would be derived from its overseas business.

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