Companies & Sectors
Bhushan writes to government about file noting on Kingfisher safety

Though Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh did not offer any reason for Bhushan's abrupt removal, it has been widely reported that the regulator's tough stand against Kingfisher's operational safety and his reported threat to cancel its licence led to his ouster

Mumbai/New Delhi: Former regulator of civil aviation EK Bharat Bhushan has written to the Union Government to ascertain whether a file noting about the operational safety of Kingfisher Airlines has been 'tampered with', reports PTI.


In his communication to the government, Bhushan is understood to have asked whether the file noting on operational safety of the private carrier has gone missing, sources said.


When contacted, Bhushan, now with the steel ministry as the financial advisor, said "no comments".


In a sudden move, Bhushan, a 1979 batch Kerala cadre IAS officer, was unceremoniously removed as Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on 10th July and was replaced by joint secretary in the Civil Aviation ministry Prashant Sukul as interim regulator.


His removal came within a week of the PMO clearing his extension till December.


Bhushan's communication came in the backdrop of Sukul last week telling media that there was no threat to suspend or cancel the license of Kingfisher as he did not find any noting in the official files on the issue.


Though minister Ajit Singh did not offer any reason for Bhushan's abrupt removal, it has been widely reported that the regulator's tough stand against Kingfisher's operational safety and his reported threat to cancel its licence led to his ouster.


Sukul had also denied reports that "action against one of the scheduled airlines (Kingfisher) was under consideration by the DGCA due to non-compliance of safety regulations."


Maruti Suzuki unrest: Police files FIR against 60 workers

Labour unrest is not a new phenomenon in Maruti Suzuki's Manesar plant which mainly produces Swift. The factory had witnessed three such instances last year causing a total production loss of about 83,000 units

Gurgaon: The Gurgaon Police have lodged a first information report (FIR) against about 60 workers, including union leaders at Maruti Suzuki India's Manesar plant, where one person was killed on Wednesday in a clash between workers and the managerial staff, reports PTI.


"So far 88 workers have been arrested," DCP Maheshwar Dayal told reporters outside the plant in north Indian state Haryana.


He further said a special investigation team (SIT) has been formed headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police Ravinder Tomar with six inspectors to probe the incident.


In order to maintain law and order at the plant, 1,200 policemen have been deployed in and around the area, he added.


The company has in the meantime said the plant will remain closed. "The management has given some names of union leaders. An FIR has been lodged against around 60 workers," SHO Manesar Om Prakash told PTI.


A case under sections of murder, attempt to murder, causing grievous injuries and damage to properties and other different sections of IPC has been registered against the workers, he added.


When asked if any arrests have been made, he did not comment but said "some workers have been detained" without specifying details.


"The workers who instigated the violence and committed the crime have been identified and will soon be arrested," Prakash added.


Worker sources said they would not be going for work till the government intervened and all the culprits were arrested.


The company had said yesterday violence broke out in the evening when a worker beat up a supervisor on the shop floor.


However, the employees union said "objectionable remarks" by the supervisor against an employee triggered the violence.


The company had said yesterday in a statement that "workers at the plant turned violent, attacking and injuring executives and managers in the office premises. At least 40 managers and executives are injured, and have been rushed to hospital. The attackers also set fire to property and damaged facilities".


Labour unrest is not a new phenomenon in Manesar plant which mainly produces Swift. The factory had witnessed three such instances last year causing a total production loss of about 83,000 units.


Reliance MediaWorks: Story of PE fund investment not the first time

Reliance MediaWorks, a loss making company of the Anil Ambani group claims to have found a PE fund which is interested in buying ‘minority’ stake for Rs605 crore in its film and media services division. Can this be true? This is not the first time that the limping entertainment business of Anil Ambani has claimed to have got a large investment by a foreign fund

Anil Ambani-led Reliance MediaWorks said it has signed a term sheet with a “leading international” private equity (PE) fund, under which the fund would buy a minority stake in the company’s films and media services division for Rs605 crore. But this is not the first PE fund investment in the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani (R-ADA) group company.


Reliance MediaWorks, in a regulatory filing said, “ terms of which the potential investor has provided an indicative non-binding proposal to acquire a substantial minority stake in Reliance MediaWorks’ Film and Media Services division for an investment of Rs605 crore.”


“Reliance MediaWorks and the potential investor have agreed to exclusivity for the next 90 days. The proposed investment is subject to completion of customary detailed due diligence, definitive documentation, completion of subsidiarisation of the film and media services business and approvals as may be necessary,” the company said in the regulatory filing.


Following the announcement, Reliance Entertainment shares jumped 8% on the BSE. It closed at Rs62.40 or 5.8% higher while the benchmark Sensex closed 0.47% up at 17,185.


Four years ago, billionaire investor George Soros was supposed to invest $100 million for buying a 3% stake in Reliance Entertainment. Both parties signed a term sheet in March 2008. However, the deal was stuck later over valuation of the company and other issues. The announcement about investment by Soros pushed up Reliance Entertainment’s share price and valuation. With 3% stake coming at $100 million, the company was valued at about $3 billion. But there was no further progress. It is doubtful whether Soros has actually made the promised $100 million investment. The exchanges and the market regulator stay blind to such efforts to news items which temporarily influence prices.


Reliance MediaWorks, formerly Adlabs Films, has 500 movie theatres branded as BIG. For the full year ended March 2012, its loss widened to a huge Rs411.4 crore from Rs256.2 crore, while its total revenues fell to Rs495.5 crore from Rs524.9 crore in the year-ago period. Its theatrical exhibition segment reported the biggest loss of Rs141.6 crore, a steep rise in loss of about 95%, from a loss of Rs72.8 crore, same period last year. It is the same segment that is responsible for garnering maximum revenues for Reliance MediaWorks. For FY12, revenues from this segment increased marginally to Rs375.7 crore from Rs361.1 crore last year. Who would put money in a venture like this?


The R-ADA Group in general has been strapped for cash because many of its businesses have been doing badly—as is reflected in stock prices which have hit multi-year lows.


Just last month, Canada-based independent research firm Veritas, in a report titled, “A House of Cards” alleged that Reliance Communications (RCom), another company of the R-ADA group, is entering a phase of maximum uncertainty. The report states that the management will have to work out the debt repayment obligations of nearly $2.2 billion over the next two years even as the EBIDTA in its core telecom business is languishing.


RCom has been trying to hive off its tower business unit, Reliance Infratel since past few years. It started with GTL Infrastructure agreeing to combine its tower business with Reliance Infratel by paying Rs11,000 crore to Rs12,000 crore as cash component of the deal valued at Rs50,000 crore. However, it fell through over differences over valuation and funding between the two companies.


Late in 2011, RCom started talks with PE funds like Blackstone and Carlyle for offloading its 95% stake in Reliance Infratel. The deal was supposed to be closed in January this year. According to media reports, after several rounds of negotiations, the PE funds have signed a term sheet to buy stake in the telecom tower company.



Rajkumar Singh

4 years ago

I understand that this news is to alert or caution the pubilc about the NAV of R-ADA Group going into disarray and the investors should be aware of the consequences they may face before investing.

If I am wrong, please correct me.

Prajna Paromita Majumdar

4 years ago

ADAG's media business is a disaster. It's hardly a surprise, considering the kind of people Mr Ambani employs at the upper management level.

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