Global private equity (PE) firms Blackstone Group LP and Warburg Pincus Llc are in separate talks to invest in India’s Max Financial Services Ltd for a minority stake.

Max Financial Services, led by billionaire Analjit Singh, is raising money to finance a potential acquisition by its life insurance unit Max Life Insurance Co. Ltd.

Both PE funds have expressed interest in the investment, but it is subject to Max Life making an acquisition for which funds will be needed.

In April, Max Financial had said its board has approved mobilisation of funds from KKR Capital Markets India Pvt. Ltd, TPG Global Llc and Standard Chartered Bank to finance an acquisition opportunity by Max Life.

While the company did not disclose the amount it would raise, it had said the fundraise was well within the limit approved by its board. Its board has approved fundraising through both equity and debt up to Rs 5,000 crore ($0.78 billion) for investment in the life insurance business.

India Investment Journal’ has in-depth coverage on related topics.


India’s pharmaceutical exports have shown a strong turnaround in the last few months, with Europe and other key markets gaining traction and making up for the slowdown in North America. This issue was discussed at the ‘iPHEX’ annual event of the apex industry body Pharmexcil in New Delhi last week.

After remaining in the negative territory for the first five months of the financial year 2017-18, the pharmaceutical exports are increasing at a year-on-year pace since November 2017, despite the slowdown in the US for a combination of factors. Though the cumulative data for the fiscal year 2017-18 shows a modest 2.91 per cent growth to $17.27 billion from $16.78 billion in 2016-17, the annualised shipments have been increasing at a sharper rate, between seven and 14 per cent since November 2017.

Ravi Uday Bhaskar, Director General, Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil), said: “Good news is that the formulations and bulk drugs which together account for over 90 per cent of our pharma exports have shown a sharp turnaround, being led by several important markets including Europe.”

About 350 exhibitors and 600 overseas buyers participated in the event that also witnessed 10,000 business visitors.

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Global e-commerce firm eBay Inc said that it will sell its holdings in Flipkart for about $1.1 billion after the Indian e-tailer was acquired by US retail giant Walmart.

The US-based online selling platform will end its strategic relationship with Flipkart in the process and terminate the homegrown e-tailer’s licence to use the brand.

The company said in a statement that it will also re-launch its Indian operations in a new avatar that will initially focus on cross-border trade.

Flipkart had acquired eBay’s Indian business last April as part of a $1.4 billion (Rs 9,000 crore) fundraising round that also involved Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd and software giant Microsoft Corp.

In exchange for an equity stake in Flipkart, eBay made a cash investment of $500 million and sold its India business to the e-commerce firm. The merger process was concluded last August.

Though Flipkart owned, the latter operated as an independent entity. The two firms were exploring cross-border trade opportunities to make eBay’s global inventory accessible to more India consumers.

India Investment Journal’ has in-depth coverage on related topics.


British companies including BP and Vodafone invested $21.4 billion in India over the past decade, beating French and German companies put together, the UK government highlighted.

Dominic Asquith, UK’s high commissioner to India, said the investments include multi-billion dollar deals inked by oil and gas company BP with Reliance Industries and telecom operator Vodafone’s investments in India.

He said: “There is a need for government-to-government engagement on agreeing to frameworks for new areas of collaboration as there are commonalities between UK’s industrial strategy and the Modi government’s priority areas.”

Asquith said the UK and India were working together in the areas of cybersecurity, financial technology and data management and security as the exchange of goods, services and people between the two countries intensified.

The UK was introducing a new category of visas to facilitate the entry of ‘exceptional talent’ from India.

The high commissioner said multiple partnerships were in the works between the two countries in areas of high-end technology such as the use of artificial intelligence-based applications to facilitate the setting up of over 5,000 medical diagnostic centres across India and enabling over 100,000 clinics to be connected through technology.

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International Finance Corporation (IFC) plans to invest up to Rs 325 crore (around $50 million) in Gurugram-based Encore Asset Reconstruction Company Pvt. Ltd through a combination of security receipts and non-convertible debentures.

IFC proposes to invest Rs 195 crore ($29 million) in security receipts issued by one or more trusts set up by Encore ARC and Rs 130 crore (around $19.5 million) via debentures, the private-sector investment arm of the World Bank said in a disclosure.

The proceeds will be used towards acquisition and resolution of distressed assets in the retail and micro, small, and medium enterprises segment in India.

IFC’s investment is part of a larger round in which Encore ARC is looking to raise up to Rs 591.5 crore ($88.28 million) via security receipts and NCDs.

Nasdaq-listed Encore Capital Group Inc. is the holding company of Encore ARC. It holds a 50 per cent stake in the India unit. Asia-focussed private equity firm ADV Partners holds a 30 per cent stake while IFC owns the remaining 20 per cent.

The proposal will be placed before IFC’s board for approval on 8 June.

India Investment Journal’ has in-depth coverage on related topics.

Japanese apparel retailer Uniqlo will foray into India next year with the first store in the national capital. This will also mark the brand's entry in the South Asia region.

After the launch in Delhi, UNIQLO plans to expand in the national capital region (NCR) before considering other areas.

Following the establishment of a wholly-owned subsidiary in India this month, UNIQLO said it will begin recruiting local talent as it prepares to open its first store in the country.

UNIQLO has around 2,000 stores in 19 markets worldwide including Japan, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the UK, US, among others.

The company reported global sales of approximately 1.8619 trillion yen ($ 16.87 billion) for 2017 financial year ended August 31, 2017.

India Investment Journal’ has in-depth coverage on related topics.

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