A consortium led by India's JSW Steel is close to taking control of the struggling Ilva plant in Taranto, southern Italy. The plant has an annual production capacity of 10 million tonnes: 40 per cent of Italy's national production.JSW has submitted the final bids along with Cassa Deposit e Prestiti, Italy's sovereign fund, businessman Leonardo el Vecchio, and Italian steel company Arvedi.JSW will invest about $400 million for a 35 per cent stake in Ilva. It will also operate the company, which employs 14,000 people.The only other contender is Lakshmi Mittal's Arcelor Mittal SA, which has teamed up with Italian steel processor Marcegaglia.The Ilva plant was forced to suspend operations last year and slipped into insolvency after regulators found it polluting the environment.Larsen & Toubro in Europe JV
Indian engineering conglomerate Larsen and Toubro (L&T) and European missile major MBDA have set up a joint venture to develop and manufacture missiles in India to meet the country′s defence requirements.L&T MBDA Missile Systems Ltd is expected to be incorporated in the first half of 2017 after necessary approvals.The L&T will hold 51 per cent in the new JV, while MBDA the remaining 49 per cent. It will kick off with the development of the fifth generation Anti-Tank Guided missile, missiles for the coastal batteries and high-speed target drones.Antoine Bouvier, Chief Executive Officer, MBDA, said: "Our business strategy in India has always focused on entering into a partnership at the deepest level, not just with the armed forces but also with the Indian industry."Sify Technologies expands into Europe
India's IT services provider, Sify Technologies, has announced its expansion into Europe.Raju Vegesna, Chairman, Sify Technologies said: “After a successful foray into North America, we are very excited to expand our footprint into the European region.”The company announced Mark Ryder as its managing director, who will also head Sify's UK operations based out of London.Chennai-headquartered Sify is one of the integrated ICT solutions and services companies in India, offering end-to-end solutions with a comprehensive range of products delivered over a common telecom data network infrastructure reaching more than 1,400 cities and towns in India.Sify has a unified licence to operate NLD (national long distance), ILD (international long distance) services and ISP services and offers VoIP backhaul for international carriers.Adani Group explores Swedish JV
The Gautam Adani-led Adani Group is reportedly in talks with Sweden′s Saab AB for a partnership.The Swedish firm makes Gripen fighter jets, which reportedly is in the race for India′s next multi-billion fighter jet order. The other is Lockheed Martin Corp. of the US, which makes the F-16 jets.Saab has promised to build the fighter jets in India if it wins the order. The Indian government has sought proposals for single-engine fighter jets. In addition, the Indian Navy is also eyeing fighter jets for its aircraft carriers, which could be worth another $15 billion.The planes will be procured under a new method in which an Indian government panel will prescribe a model to select an Indian partner. The Indian company will then exclusively manufacture military equipment for a specified period.Piramal buys UK firm's drugs
Mumbai-headquartered Piramal Enterprises has clinched a deal to acquire UK-based Mallinckrodt LLC's portfolio of intrathecal (administered via the spinal column) spasticity and pain-management drugs in an all-cash deal worth $171 million.The portfolio acquired includes Gablofen (baclofen), a severe spasticity management product, currently marketed in the US, and two pain-management products that are under development.There will be additional milestone-related payments of $32 million, depending on the financial performance of the acquired assets over the next three years.Ajay Piramal, Group Chairman, said: “This will be our seventh pharma acquisition in the last two years, taking our investment for inorganic growth to 3,000 crore [$450mn] across our pharma businesses.”The latest transaction is subject to regulatory approvals in the US and certain other conditions.Indian banks in UK set for growth
Indian banks in the UK are set for a new phase of growth in the UK as they prepare to expand operations into subsidiaries, according to the UK chief of State Bank of India (SBI).Sanjiv Chadha, who is SBI's Regional Head for the UK and chair of the Association of Indian Banks in the country, said that the move will lead to a wider range of products for the Indian diaspora.He said: “Indian banks have always followed the diaspora and just as the diaspora has transformed and grown, the Indian banks are also being asked to subsidiarise as we have also grown.“State Bank of India and Bank of Baroda will have both branch operations and subsidiary operations. The importance of this move is a wider balance sheet size.”Chadha confirmed that SBI and Bank of Baroda are set to make the transition from a branch to subsidiary in the next three to six months, following which they will have a dual presence in the UK.Idea merges with Vodafone
British telecom major Vodafone and India's Idea Cellular are to merge to create the country′s biggest phone company by subscribers.The Kumar Mangalam Birla owned Idea's merger with Vodafone will dislodge Bharti Airtel, which has been at the top for 15 years. The new crore entity will also be the world No. 2 after China Mobile.The deal will see Aditya Birla Group gradually raising its stake in the combined entity while the Vodafone Group will reduce its own, with the aim of both holding equal stakes over a period of time.As a first step, AB Group will acquire 4.9 per cent from Vodafone to take its stake to 26 per cent, with Vodafone holding 45.1 per cent. Further, the company will have the right to buy another 9.5 per cent in the combined entity over four years from the British telecom firm.Kumar Mangalam Birla will be the chairman of the new entity. Vodafone will name the chief financial officer while the two companies will jointly name the CEO and operations head before the closure of merger, expected within 24 months.