QBiz: RIL to Invest in Hathway, Den; Hershey to Expand in India
Chairman of Reliance Industries, Mukesh Ambani
Chairman of Reliance Industries, Mukesh Ambani(Photo: PTI)

QBiz: RIL to Invest in Hathway, Den; Hershey to Expand in India

1. Reliance to Buy Controlling Stakes In Den Networks, Hathway For Rs 5,200 Crore

Reliance Industries Ltd agreed to buy controlling stakes for more than Rs 5,200 crore in two of India’s largest cable and wired internet services providers as the nation’s richest man Mukesh Ambani prepares to disrupt broadband and direct-to-home TV services industry.

RIL will invest Rs 2,045 crore to subscribe to preferential shares and buy Rs 245 crore worth of stake from the promoters to pick 66 percent holding in Den Networks Ltd, according to a statement by Reliance Jio Ltd.

It will also invest Rs 2,940 crore through a preferential issue for a 51.3 percent stake in Hathway Cable and Datacom Ltd.

(Source: Bloomberg Quint)

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2. ED Attaches Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi’s Assets Worth Rs 218 Crore

The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday said it has attached assets in India and abroad worth Rs 218 crore belonging to fugitive diamond merchants Nirav Modi and his maternal uncle Mehul Choksi.

The duo, who have fled the country, are accused of defrauding state-run Punjab National Bank of Rs 13,500 crore. A senior official of the agency said: “A villa at a foreign location worth Rs 27 crore belonging to Choksi has been attached.”

The assets attached by the ED include a Hyderabad property worth Rs 120 crore belonging to AP Gems and Jewellery Park. On specific intelligence, diamonds with a market value of Rs 18.76 crore belonging to the Firestar Group related to Nirav Modi were also seized, the official added.

(Source: The Financial Express)

3. Treebo and Fabhotels Initiate Merger Talks

Budget hotel brands Treebo and FabHotels have initiated merger talks, as investor appetite to fund hotel startups is waning following the massive funding round by market leader Oyo Rooms, three people familiar with the matter said.

Oyo, India’s largest and fastest-growing hotel chain, had secured $800 million from the SoftBank Vision Fund last month.

The talks between Treebo, run by Ruptub Solutions Pvt. Ltd, and Casa2 Stays Pvt. Ltd-owned FabHotels are at an early stage, so it is difficult to say whether the deal will go through or not, the people cited above said, requesting anonymity. The talks are being led by investors of the two companies, they added.

Treebo and FabHotels have been trying to raise fresh capital, but potential investors have so far shied away from putting money into companies competing with SoftBank-backed Oyo, the people said.

(Source: Livemint)

4. Total Partners Adani Group to Fuel Its Larger India Play

French oil and gas giant Total SA will run liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification terminals at Mundra and Dhamra and roll out 1,500 fuel stations over 10 years in partnership with the Adani Group as it looks to tap demand in the world’s fastest-growing energy market.

Total and Adani Group did not disclose the financial details of the agreement, but persons briefed on the deal said the Euronext and New York-Stock Exchange-listed French multi-national would invest more than ₹2,000 crore in a joint venture to develop multi-energy offerings to the Indian market such as LNG and fuel retailing.

(Source: The Hindu Business Line)

5. SEBI Directs Singh Brothers to Repay Rs 403 Crore to Fortis

The market regulator directed Malvinder Singh, Shivinder Singh and other eight entities to repay with interest Rs 403 crore that they had diverted from Fortis Healthcare Ltd.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India, according to an order uploaded on its website, in its preliminary probe found the Singh brothers, had acted in a fraudulent manner by diverting nearly Rs 403 crore from Fortis Healthcare and misrepresented financial statements.

The other named are Fortis Hospitals Ltd, RHC Holdings Ltd, Religare Finvest, Shivi Holdings Pvt Ltd, Malav Holdings Pvt Ltd, Best Healthcare Pvt Ltd, Fern Healthcare Pvt Ltd and Modland Wears Pvt Ltd.

(Source: Bloomberg Quint)

6. Zuckerberg to Be Removed as FB Chairman? Influential Shareholders Back Proposal

Several public funds that hold shares in Facebook Inc on Wednesday backed a proposal to remove Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg as chairman, saying the social media giant mishandled several high-profile scandals.

State treasurers from Illinois, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania, and New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, co-filed the proposal. They joined hedge fund Trillium Asset Management, which bought it to the table in June.

The proposal, set to be voted on at Facebook’s annual shareholder meeting in May 2019, is asking the board to make the role of chair an independent position.

(Source: The Financial Express)

7. UK’s Entrepreneur First Aims to Build Deep-Tech Startups in India

London-based accelerator Entrepreneur First has earmarked $20 million to build deep technology ventures in India over the next three years, a top company executive said.

Founded in 2011 by Matt Clifford and Alice Bentinck, Entrepreneur First helps pre-idea or pre-founder startups find the right teams and co-founders, refine ideas and raise funds from local and global investors.

Entrepreneur First, which calls itself a “company builder”, has launched a six-month programme in Bengaluru to help build 50 deep-tech startups focusing on segments such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics along with tech-focused consumer companies.

“We will roughly invest $20 million in India over the next three years just on the stipends and initial investment. But we could invest many millions more in the next stage of the investment and there is no geographical limit on that,” said Clifford in a telephone interview.

(Source: Livemint)

8. Hershey Eyes a Bigger Share of Indian Chocolate Market

For Steven Schiller, President-International, The Hershey Company, there is probably more potential in India than any other market where the chocolate maker has operations.

He reckons that going forward growth for the company in India is going to be robust, with its four core brands growing at 50 percent currently.

“At Hershey, our international business is key to our overall success, and India is a critical part of that success. It’s one of the several international focus markets where we are making measured investments. India offers significant growth opportunities given its demographic and economic potential and the expected consumption growth rates in the years ahead,” said Michele Buck, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Hershey Company.

(Source: The Hindu Business Line)

9. Reliance Jio Profit Rises On Aggressive Subscriber Additions

Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd’s profit rose in the quarter ended September on the back of strong subscriber additions due to the introduction of a newer version of its low-cost JioPhone.

Net profit for the telecom carrier rose 11.3 percent sequentially to Rs 681 crore, according to its parent Reliance Industries Ltd’s stock exchange filing.

That’s lower than the Rs 743-crore consensus estimate of analysts polled by BloombergQuint.

The average revenue per user narrowed for the fourth straight quarter to Rs 131.7, the lowest since the company’s inception.

(Source: Bloomberg Quint)

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