Companies & Sectors
Financial Technologies to get Rs576 crore from IEX stake sale

Financial Technologies is selling its 25.64% stake in IEX, which provides a power trading platform, to a group of investors for about Rs576.84 crore


Financial Technologies (India) Ltd said it would offload its entire 25.64% stake in Indian Energy Exchange Ltd (IEX), which provides a power trading platform, to a group of investors for about Rs576.84 crore.


FTIL, in a regulatory filings, said that on 5th November, it had entered into a share purchase agreement (SPA) with TVS Shriram Growth Fund 1, S Gopalkrishnan, Lakshmi Narayanan, Rajeev Gupta, Dalmia Cement Bharat Power Ventures Ltd, Kiran Vyapar Ltd, TVS Capital Funds Ltd and Agri Power and Engineering Solutions Pvt Ltd and would sale its 25.64% stake in IEX for around Rs576.84 crore.


The company said the transaction was subject to fulfilment of certain condition precedents including buyout of the application software and other technology for its own use only by IEX and regulatory approvals, if any.


Under the SPA, the transaction would close within 30 days unless all parties extended it. After the transaction was completed, FTIL would have completely exited IEX, the statement said.


IEX offers a demutualised and automated platform for physical delivery of electricity. The exchange also facilitated “efficient price discovery and price risk management” for those who took part in the electricity market that included industries which were eligible for open access.


IEX said nearly 3,000 participants from 29 states, five union territories (UTs), more than 800 private generators (both commercial and renewable energy), and over 2,800 open access consumers benefited by participating in the exchange.


DLF allowed to redeem Rs1,800 crore invested in mutual funds

In an interim order, the SAT said DLF can redeem its investment in mutual funds worth Rs767 crore in November, and the rest in December


The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) has allowed real estate developer DLF to redeem Rs1,800 crore the company had invested in mutual funds, by next month.


In an interim order, the SAT said DLF can redeem funds worth Rs767 crore in November, and the rest in December.


Last month, DLF was banned from trading on stock exchanges for three years by market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). The company was also barred from redeeming its investments.


DLF has invested about Rs2,500 crore in mutual funds. While SEBI had not imposed any monetary penalty, it prohibited the company and six persons from sale, purchase or any other dealings, including raising funds, in the market. DLF had challenged the SEBI ban and sought relief.


SEBI’s action was a result of DLF not disclosing details about three of its 353 subsidiaries and associate companies in its 2007 initial public offering (IPO) filing.


The company had garnered up Rs9,187 crore from the IPO, making it the biggest public offering in the country that year.


The Delhi-based developer had filed an affidavit with the SAT last week against the SEBI order, and filed a case against the market regulator in October.


While hearing the case last month, the SAT had asked SEBI to cite the reasons for banning DLF.


The Tribunal will next hear the case on 10th December.


Scientists develop new drug to replace antibiotics

In a small patient trial, the new drug was shown to be effective at eradicating the drug-resistant superbug Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA


In a breakthrough, scientists have developed the first effective alternative to antibiotics that may aid the fight against drug-resistant infections.


In a small patient trial, the drug was shown to be effective at eradicating the superbug Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).


Researchers said it is unlikely that the infection could develop resistance against the new treatment, which is already available as a cream for skin infections.


They hope to develop a pill or an injectable version of the drug within five years.


The treatment marks “a new era in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria,” according to Mark Offerhaus, chief executive of the biotechnology company Micreos, which is behind the advance.


The treatment attacks infections in an entirely different way from conventional drugs and, unlike them, exclusively targets the Staphylococcus bacteria responsible for MRSA, and leaves other microbes unaffected.


The approach is inspired by naturally occurring viruses that attack bacteria using enzymes called endolysins. It uses a ‘designer’ endolysin, Staphefekt, which the scientists engineered to latch on to the surface of bacteria cells and tear them apart, ‘The Times’ reported.


“Endolysins exist in nature, but we’ve made a modified version that combines the bit that is best at binding to the bacteria with another bit that is best at killing it,” said Bjorn Herpers, a clinical microbiologist, who tested the drug at the Public Health Laboratory in Kennemerland, the Netherlands.


Conventional antibiotics need to reach the inside of the cell to work, and part of the reason they are becoming less effective is that certain strains of bacteria, such as MRSA, have evolved impenetrable membranes.


By contrast, endolysins target basic building blocks on the outside of bacterial cells that are unlikely to change as infections genetically mutate over time.


Scientists believe that the results could mark the first of a wave of endolysin-based therapies for infections that conventional drugs are no longer able to treat.


About 80% of gonorrhoea infections are resistant to frontline drugs, and multidrug-resistant salmonella, tuberculosis and E coli are regarded as significant threats.


Naturally occurring endolysins can attack all of these diseases, and the challenge is to create stable versions that can be packaged as drugs, researchers said.


The findings were presented at the Antibiotic Alternatives for the New Millennium conference at London.


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