Tatas refuse US firm's offer to buy AirAsia stake; Bharti Airtel narrows losses in Q2

The Tata group has refused an offer by US-based fund Interups Inc. to buy a 49 per cent in AirAsia India. Bharti Airtel said its consolidated net loss for the July-September quarter narrowed sharply to Rs 763 crore. India’s GDP growth might be “near zero” this financial year but the country will be one of the fastest-growing large economies the next fiscal, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Here is more on what happened this week.

Business Standard
31st October

  • The Tata group has refused to acknowledge an offer by US-based fund Interups Inc. to buy a 49 per cent in AirAsia India, which the Indian conglomerate owns in partnership with Malaysia's AirAsia Berhad. AAB endorsed the Interups offer because it wants to exit India, but the Tata group’s consent is needed for the transaction because both partners have the right of first refusal to each other’s stake.
  • Sweden's Ingka Group, which owns the furniture and lifestyle brand IKEA, plans to bring mall-like Ingka Centres to India. The company will set up the centres, which will be anchored by an IKEA store, in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai and Bengaluru. It may acquire existing malls for the centres, which will drive visitors to the IKEA stores.
  • Hyderabad-based Aurobindo Pharma has reached an agreement to sell its US subsidiary Natrol LLC to private equity firm New Mountain Capital and its affiliate Jarrow Formulas in an all-cash transaction valued at $550 mn (about Rs 4,048 crore). A deal would make Aurobindo a zero-debt company and also help it repay loans, said analysts.
  • Bharti Airtel said its consolidated net loss for the July-September quarter narrowed sharply to Rs 763 crore: a decline of 97 per cent year-on-year (YoY). The telecom company had posted a consolidated net loss of Rs 23,045 crore in the same quarter last year. Airtel posted its highest ever quarterly revenue, mainly on account of customer addition and higher data consumption.
  • Hero MotoCorp, the largest two-wheeler manufacturer in India, will produce and distribute Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the country after the American company last month discontinued its operations in India. The agreement to produce, sell, and service motorcycles manufactured by Harley marks Hero’s entry into the super-premium 300-600 cc segment.
  • India’s GDP growth might be “near zero” this financial year but the country will be one of the fastest-growing large economies the next fiscal, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. “Indicators show that primary sectors, related sectors of agriculture and rural India, are all doing very well. As a result, the consumption of durable goods, agricultural equipment and vehicles -- all are going up," she said.
  • Future Retail will go into liquidation if its deal to sell assets to Reliance Industries fails, theIndian group told a Singapore arbitrator while arguing against Amazon.com Inc's bid to scupper the deal, Reuters reported. Amazon has won an injunction from a Singapore arbitrator to halt Future's deal to sell assets to Reliance. Amazon alleged Future had breached certain contract provisions it entered into last year in a separate deal with the US firm.

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