Bharti to sell African tower ops to own arm for Rs. 15,000 crore Bharti Airtel will sell mobile phone towers of its African operations to its arm Bharti Infratel, raising badly-needed cash & taking a big step towards replicating the outsourced business model. The deal is expected to be sealed for rs 12000-15000 crore by Dec 2010. Bharti Infratel will in turn raise the money by selling stakes to sovereign and private equity funds and it owned 90% by India’s largest cellphone service provider. Borrowing to funds the acquisition as well as launch of 3G services in India have burdened the company with debt of around rs 65,000 cr. Number of users in Africa fell to 36 million from the 42 million it claimed when the acquisition was announced. Bharti Airtel has started separating the tower business in the 15 African countries and will consolidate them under one overseas company. Bharti Infratel will accquire this company for $ 2.5-3billion.
Rayat-Bahra Group to open aviation institute in North Company is likely to get into a joint venture with the government of Madagascar. Madagascar government has agreed to provide one fully-functional airport with a fleet of 380 aircrafts to give practical training to the budding pilots. Rayat-Bahra group also has ambitious plan to set up Medi-campuses in Mohali and Hoshiarpur at a cost of rs 500 crore in the coming five years. The group presently runs a successful chain of 26 technical and profesional institutes across three campuses at Mohali, Ropar and Hoshiarpur. Chairman- Gurvinder Singh Bahra
Govt may grant airlines’ debt wish DEA says Airlines should be allowed to use External Debt to Repay Domestic Loans. If committee decides in favour of the airlines, it may have to face the same demand from other sectors. A change in guideline will benefit Jet Airways, Indias largest airline by market sharewhich has sought approval from the RBI or RBI to raise $750 million mostly to refinance its domestic debt to reduce cost of borrowing. According to senior finance ministry official some relaxation in the policy could be done. DEA –Department of Economic Affairs
Efforts on strengthen pharma sector to check foreign takeovers The govt is looking policy option to strengthen India’s thriving pharmaceutical industry to check growing instances of takeovers by foreign players. The department has commissioned a study to suggest a ways to enhance competitiveness of the domestic industry. DIPP initiated a public debate on whether foreign direct investment flow into the pharmaceutical sectors need to be restricted. The rs 1 lakh crore domestic pharmaceutical industry got a jolt when the country’s largest drug producer Ranbaxy was acquired by Japanese Daiichi Sankyo for $4.6 billion in 2008. DIPP- Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion