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India Inc in 2012

Hard times continued for India Inc in 2012

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* Kingfisher Airlines loses license to fly: Bad times have befallen the King of Good Times. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) suspended Kingfisher Airlines' licence. The move came after the airline failed to come out with a viable operational and financial revival plan, for which it had been given an October 20 deadline.

* Diageo snaps up Mallya's United Spirits, finally: Vijay Mallya signed away control over the Rs 16,000-crore United Spirits Ltd (USL) to Diageo, the world's largest spirits company. Mallya became a minority shareholder with a 14.9 per cent stake. For the time being, he will remain the chairman of the company. But it is uncertain how long he will remain in this position.

* Maruti strike called off: The 13-day-long strike at Maruti Suzuki India Limited’s Manesar plant finally came to an end after hectic negotiations between the management, striking workers and Haryana labour department officials. The company, already slammed by a massive slowdown in sales, has faced a production loss of 12,600 units as of June 16. That translates into an estimated loss of Rs 420 crore ($93.5 million) for a company that makes half the cars sold in Asia's third-largest economy.

* SC axes 2G licences, orders auction: The Supreme Court has cancelled telecom licences awarded to companies in 2008 by former telecom minister A Raja. The ruling applies to 122 licenses held by eight operators but potentially affects fewer than 5 per cent of users in a fiercely competitive market crowded with more than a dozen players.

* Vodafone wins $2 bn tax case in SC: The Supreme Court has ruled in favour of Vodafone in the $2 billion tax case saying capital gains tax is not applicable to the telecom major. The apex court also said the Rs 2, 500 crore which Vodafone has already paid should be returned to Vodafone with interest.

* Reebok | Speedy Singh: Reebok India’s sacked managing director Subhinder Singh Prem and former COO Vishnu Bhagat were arrested along with three others for their alleged involvement in a Rs 870-crore fraud in the company. When the company suddenly removed its India chief Prem, people wondered: was it swadeshi vs videshi? Or was Prem paying the price for too much growth too fast?

* Sesa Goa, Sterlite merger to cut Vedanta debt by 60%: Vedanta Resources, the holding company of Sesa Goa and Sterlite Industries, has decided to merge the two companies in a bid to cut debt and improve cash flows. The merger, to be executed through an all-share transaction, will give birth to Sesa Sterlite, the world’s seventh-largest diversified resources company.

* Birla goes shopping with Biyani: In one of the largest consolidation moves in the Indian retail space, AV Birla Group company AV Birla Nuvo through Madura Garments picked up a majority stake in Pantaloon's Fashion format. For the Birlas, this is the second such inorganic step to increase their footprint. In early 2007, they had acquired Trinethra Super Retail Ltd from India Value Funds for an undisclosed amount.

* SC gives Sahara more time to repay investors: The Sahara conglomerate was given more time by the apex court to repay Rs 24,000 crore to millions of small investors who bought the company's bonds that were later ruled to be illegal. The court asked Sahara to make an initial deposit of Rs 5,120 crore with the capital markets regulator Sebi and pay Rs 10,000 crore in the first week of January and the remainder in the first week of February.

* The GMR-Male row: On November 27, the Maldives cancelled an agreement with Indian infrastructure firm GMR to develop an airport in capital Male. The $500-million (Rs 2,750 crore) deal was the largest foreign direct investment in the Indian Ocean archipelago of 1,192 islands.Ever since the contract was awarded to GMR, the project had been at the centre of a controversy over collection of $25 as airport development fees.

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