Mar 16, 2008

Corporate News 16th March 2008

Unitech to raise $500 mn through PE route

Realty major Unitech Ltd plans to raise $500 million through the private equity (PE) route for its funding requirement. The PE placement will be at the special purpose vehicle (SPV) level in two commercial projects in Mumbai and Lehman Brothers, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley are in race to pick up stake. Banking sources have also confirmed that Lehman will definitely pick up some stake and could have a second partner and the deal is likely to be closed by mid-April. This is not the first time that realty companies are taking the PE route to meet their expansion plans, earlier DLF had also sold stake in their residential projects to Merill Lynch and further plans to divest stake in its office trust of Singapore.

Experts believe this shift from the primary market is the result of high volatility in the market. Unitech has put its $1.5 billion QIP on hold and will wait till the markets are looking better. Apart from the QIP, Unitech and DLF both have delayed their REIT listing plans and are looking at PE placements in the REIT. The move from primary market started after Emaar MGF IPO had to be withdrawn because of low subscription and experts believe that PE right now is a much safer bet for fund raising.


ICICI to open ninth UK branch in Leeds

ICICI, India's largest private sector bank, is scheduled to open its ninth branch in Britain. The new branch will come up at Leeds on March 20. ICICI, which opened its first bank in the UK in 2003, has branches currently in London, the Midlands and Manchester. The Leeds branch opening will be conducted by Councillor Andrew Carter Leader of Leeds City Council.


PEARL Polymers allots equity shares

The committee of PEARL Polymers has allotted 585277 equity shares of Rs 10 per share, fully paid up at Rs 20.83 on preferential allotment basis to Industrial Development Bank of India.

These shares were allotted at the committee meeting held on 14 March 2008.


GAIL sets up IT disaster recovery centre at Jaipur

Gail India has formally commissioned an IT disaster recovery centre at Jaipur to ensure uninterrupted business operations in case of any eventuality.

The disaster recovery centre at Jaipur will help GAIL mitigate the risks of potential disasters to its IT infrastructure whether from fire, earthquake, prolonged power outage, war, riot, flood, bombing, terrorist attacks, cyber attacks etc. which in turn will help GAIL to continue uninterrupted services and supply to its customers.

The centre will help GAIL to achieve the zero data loss and restoration of business within 2-3 hours time in case of any eventuality. The three way disaster recovery centre has been set up by GAIL with state-of-the-art infrastructure at a cost of Rs 15 crore.