“Procurement from GeM platform to touch Rs 25,000 cr this fiscal”

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Feb 07, 2019

New Delhi: Procurement through the public procurement online platform — Government e-marketplace (GeM) is expected to touch Rs 25,000 crore in the current financial year, as against Rs 5,000 crore last year.

The commerce and industry ministry launched the GeM in August 2016 with the objective of creating an open and transparent procurement platform for government departments and agencies.

GeM Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Radha Chauhan said the online platform for central and state government departments has set a procurement target of Rs 1.5 lakh crore for purchase of goods and services in the next 4-5 years.

The procurement from GeM will reach Rs 25,000 crore by March-end this year, Chauhan said.

Besides, she said 26 per cent of the procurement on the platform is done from Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and more than half of the orders go to them.

Earlier, the GeM CEO addressed the Global Procurement Summit organised by AIMA here.


French firm’s Indian unit buys Prabhat’s dairy business for Rs 1,700 crore

Source:  Business Standard, Jan 22, 2019

Global dairy major Lactalis will buy Mumbai-based Prabhat’s milk business in its third acquisition in India.
Prabhat told the stock exchanges on Monday that Lactalis’ Indian subsidiary Tirumala Milk Products was acquiring its dairy business for Rs 1,700 crore, which is 1.09 times its FY18 sales of Rs 1,554 crore. The transaction is subject to mandatory approvals. The company did not specify a timeline for completion of the deal, but analysts expect it to be done in the next six months.

At Monday’s closing price of Rs 93.05 per share, Prabhat’s market capitalisation stands at Rs 909 crore. Kotak Mahindra Capital Company was the financial advisor to Prabhat on the deal. Veritas acted as the legal advisor.  Besides the dairy business, the transaction also involves sale of 100 per cent shareholding in Sunfresh Agro Industries, a step-downsubsidiary of Prabhat, via a share purchase agreement, the company said.
Prabhat will now focus on its cattle field and animal genetics business with the sale of its dairy business.

Earlier this month, Prabhat had tied up with Denmark-based DLG Group as part of its plans to foray into the animal nutrition business. The company had been looking to offload its dairy business for some time now, said experts tracking the market, and was in talks with Tata Global Beverages last year for a possible sale at Rs 400 crore. That did not come through though.

Raviraj Vahadane, chief financial officer of Prabhat Dairy, said, the acquisition represented a meaningful opportunity for the employees of the company to be associated with one of the global leaders in the dairy products business.  The company intended to share a substantial portion of the proceeds from the sale with shareholders after meeting its tax and transaction cost obligations, he said.

For Lactalis, the acquisition of Prabhat’s dairy business is its fifth in five years. In January of 2014, the company had bought South India’s second-largest dairy company Tirumala Milk for Rs 1,750 crore. It then snapped up the dairy business of Indore-based Anik Industries for Rs 470 crore in March of 2016, indicating that it was ready for more.

Need long-term visibility, investment in renewables

Source:  The Economic Times, January 22, 2019

Steps need to be taken to make renewable energy financially sustainable and more centric to the power situation, experts said.

“The most important thing for us is the continuity of policies,” said Sumant Sinha, chairman, ReNew Power. “The path that needs to be taken is very clear. The only concern is that returns have gone down, and new capital will find it a little bit harder to come in.”

The government has brought the sector to the forefront and global stage by spearheading the International Solar Alliance, attracting some of the biggest domestic financial investors, who now want the government to emulate China.

The industry expects the government to provide longterm visibility for procurement of power through storage-configured renewable projects and policies, to bring new investment towards gigascale factories for manufacturing modules and batteries under Make in India,” said Manoj Kohli, executive chairman at SoftBank-led SB Energy.

Solar manufacturers want safeguards from cheap imports. “It is imperative to consider antidumping as policy or regulation. Lack of a robust policy leads to influx of low-quality products in the market, forcing domestic manufacturers to compete at unsustainable prices, leaving no scope to innovate or increase capacities,” said Sunil Rathi, director, Waaree Energies. The industry also sees the need for better grid management.

The government must ensure that projects in the pipeline are delivered on time by removing bottlenecks, said Vipul Tuli, managing director, Sembcorp Energy India. “Steps also need to be taken to ensure that in an election year, discom finances are not further weakened due to populist measures.”

M&As nearly doubled to $100 billion in 2018; highest in value after 2013

Source: Business Standard, Jan 17, 2019

Merger and acquisition (M&A) activities during 2018 in India reached $100.1 billion (Rs 7.1 trillion) across 417 deals, almost doubling in value from the previous year, which saw 398 deals valued at $53.1 billion. After 2013, it was the highest in value. According to Mergermarket Trend Summary, deal-making surpassed all previous annual records since 2001.


India accounts for 13 per cent of Asia-Pacific M&A activity (4,515 deals, $772 billion) by value. Cross-border M&A was particularly strong. Foreign investors put in $46.9 billion over 212 deals, its highest annual value on Mergermarket’s record, and 2.2 times higher than in 2017 (194 deals, $21.3 billion).

Outbound activity increased 3.7 times in value, with Indian investors spending $11.3 billion across 75 deals. A year before, it was 69 deals, for $3 billion.

Private equity (PE) activity in buyouts and exits hit record levels. Buyouts rose 102 per cent to $16 billion (112 deals) compared to last year (96 deals, $7.9 billion). PE exits also saw a dramatic increase, reaching $35.8 billion (61 deals), more than six times the previous year’s value (51 deals, $5.7 billion).

DoT plans to set up network of satellites to bolster telecom services

Source: Business Standard, Jan 03, 2019

New Delhi: The telecom department is in discussion with the space department to set up a network of satellite for communication services across the country, an official source said Thursday.

“DoT is working to set-up network of low earth orbit (LEO) satellite and medium earth orbit (MEO) satellite for telecom services. The entire expenses will be borne by the telecom ministry. Discussion in this regard has already started with Department of Space,” the source told PTI.

Indian Space Research Organisation has launched 35 communications satellites till date, of which four satellites – GSAT 6A, GSAT 29, GSAT 11 and GSAT 7A were launched in 2018. Read the rest of this entry »

Hollywood biz booming at Indian box office, all thanks to big franchises

Source: Business Standard, Dec 31, 2018

In 2018, Hollywood saw big franchises get bigger at the Indian box office. From superhero films to animation, studios put their might behind their tent-pole releases quarter on quarter, and reaped the rewards. Disney-owned Marvel Studios, which celebrated 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) this year, scored big with the highest-grossing Hollywood film in the country – Avengers: Infinity War, which earned Rs 2.2 billion (net of tax) at the domestic box office. This, in a year when none of the Khans’ films managed to breach the Rs 2-billion mark.

“In Hollywood, it’s been the year of Marvel characters. Whether you look at Avengers at the top-notch Rs 3 billion gross box office (GBO) or even other Marvel (character) films like Deadpool, Black Panther, Venom getting close to the Rs 500-million mark powered by younger viewers. Our Paramount franchise that’s been around — Mission Impossible — touched a new high at Rs 1.3-billion GBO. The third story in Hollywood segment is horror; in particular The Conjuring Universe, where even a spinoff like Nun touched Rs 600-million GBO. So yes, franchises is the way forward for studios but you still have to deliver a great film,” says Ajjit Andhare, COO, Viacom18 Motion Pictures. Read the rest of this entry »

Ease of Doing Business: India jumps 23 notches, now at rank 77

Source: The Economic Times, Nov 01, 2018

In a big boost for NDA government, India climbed another 23 points in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index to 77th place, becoming the top ranked country in South Asia for the first time and third among the BRICS.

In the last two years the country has climbed 53 notches, a performance matched in the past only by Bhutan. The biggest gain was in construction permit where India climbed 129 ranks to 52nd place on the back of targeted government effort to remove hurdles. Read the rest of this entry »