Dabur acquires ‘30-Plus’ brand from Ajanta Pharma

Dabur has identified health care as a key growth area for the future and it is looking at opportunities in both the domestic and international markets

Dabur India, one of the major players in India’s natural health segment, has entered into an agreement to acquire Ajanta Pharma’s OTC brand ‘30 Plus’. “For every acquisition we make, we look at synergies that can compliment Dabur’s existing portfolio. The acquisition o15f 30 Plus is part of an aggressive strategy to build capacity in the OTC health-care segment and I am confident that this transaction will help us in our endeavour to further strengthen our portfolio in this category,” said Dabur India group director PD Narang.

30 Plus is one of Ajanta Pharma’s key health care energiser brands and was launched in 1990. Dabur has identified health care as a key growth area for the future. “As with our previous acquisitions, this deal will offer us an opportunity to broaden the company’s product portfolio to further capitalise on the emerging opportunities in domestic and international markets,” Mr Narang added.

At 15:09 hours, Dabur India was trading Rs100.50 (0.5%) down on the BSE. The Sensex was 436.94 points down at 18,561.08 at this time.

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Firstsource to acquire 74% stake in Lankan BPO unit

The joint venture company will manage the Sri Lankan company’s customer contact management operations across its mobile, fixed line, pay television and broadband businesses

BPO service provider Firstsource Solutions today said it that it will acquire a 74% stake in Sri Lanka’s telecom service provider Dialog Axiata PLC's BPO arm and the two firms will form a joint venture company called Firstsource-Dialog Solutions.

“The joint venture between Firstsource and Dialog will be consummated through Firstsource Solutions investing in, and acquiring a 74% share of Dialog Business Services, the recently formed BPO venture of the Dialog Axiata Group,” a joint statement from the firms said, reports PTI.

The joint venture company will manage Dialog’s customer contact management operations across its mobile, fixed line, pay television and broadband businesses, the statement said.

“This is an important step for Firstsource, as we expand our presence in South Asia that is in line with our growth aspirations within the Asia Business Unit. This is a strategic decision to venture into the sub-continent to address the growing requirement for customer relationship management,” Firstsource Solutions’ CEO and Managing Director, Matthew Vallance, said.

Firstsource operates in the USA, UK, Australia, the Philippines and India, and has over 26,000 employees globally. It did not divulge any financial details of the deal.

“With Firstsource as the major investor in this company, I am confident that Firstsource-Dialog Solutions will be a forerunner in Sri Lanka's Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) and BPO space,” Dialog Axiata PLC Group CEO Hans Wijayasurya, said.

Dialog Axiata PLC is a subsidiary of Axiata Group Berhad and operates 2.5G and 3/3.5G mobile communications networks supporting the latest in multimedia and mobile Internet services.

Dialog is the first 3G operator in South Asia to commence commercial operations. Its local coverage spans all provinces of Sri Lanka, while international roaming is provided in over 200 destinations. It has a subscriber base in excess of 6.7 million, the statement said. At 14:22 hours, Firstsource Solutions was trading Rs18.50 down (2.63%) on the BSE. The Sensex was 385.17 points down at 18,612.85 at this time.

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India to make rupee payment for Iran oil

Under the proposal, the National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) will open rupee accounts with Indian banks and can use the money to purchase non-strategic items like railway imports and buying commodities. It cannot however use the money to invest in India or buying shares or companies

New Delhi: With UAE refusing to route its payments for Iranian crude oil, India has decided to pay its second largest oil supplier in rupees, reports PTI.

“The finance ministry is preparing a note for the Cabinet for payments for Iranian oil in rupees,” a top government official said.

Under the proposal, National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) will open rupee accounts with Indian banks and can use the money to purchase non-strategic items like railway imports and buying commodities. It cannot however use the money to invest in India or buying shares or companies.

The ministry is preparing a list of what Iran can do with the money and what it cannot.

The official said Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which had in December last year discontinued a long-standing mechanism of payment through central banks, had previously opposed payments for Iranian oil in rupees but has now relented.

India had in February started making euro payments through an Iranian bank based in Germany. But under US pressure, Germany soon stopped accepting money from India for onward transfer to Hamburg-based EIH Bank, sending India to the doorsteps of UAE.

The government explored if Indian oil firms can open accounts in banks like Dubai-based Noor Islamic Bank for direct transfer of money to Iran. But UAE, too, refused to route payments.

New Delhi also approached Turkey but failed to get any response, the official said.

India imports 12 million barrels of crude oil every month from Iran, which is the nation’s second-largest supplier after Saudi Arabia.

The problem began after RBI on 23rd December did away with the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) mechanism for paying for Iranian crude oil imports, which make up for 12% of the nation’s oil needs.

In February, it began clearing past dues for Iranian oil imports by making euro payments through German-based Europisch-Iranische Handelsbank AG (EIH Bank).

But EIH, which is owned by Iran, is a banned entity in the US, and Washington persuaded Germany to stop payments.

About 1.5 billion euro had been paid through EIH when Germany refused to accept any further payments for the purpose.

This has resulted in outstanding payment of $2.8 billion as on March-end towards Iran, which has continued to supply oil on credit.

Oil supplies from Iran have, however, not been affected and the Persian Gulf nation continues to sell oil on credit backed by corporate guarantee.

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