Companies & Sectors
Infosys to buy Lodestone for about Rs1,932 crore

The acquisition of management consultant Lodestone Holdings will add more than 200 clients across industries, including manufacturing, automotive and life sciences, to the Infosys pool of over 700 clients

New Delhi: Infosys Technologies on Monday said it will acquire global management consultancy firm Lodestone Holding for 330 million Swiss Francs or about Rs1,932 crore in cash, reports PTI.


The transaction is expected to close by the end of October 2012, subject to customary closing conditions.


Upon completion, the acquisition of Lodestone will strengthen Infosys Consulting and Systems Integration (C&SI) capabilities, by bringing more than 850 employees, including 750 experienced SAP consultants to the company, Infosys said in a statement.


The acquisition will also add more than 200 clients across industries, including manufacturing, automotive and life sciences, to the Infosys pool of over 700 clients.


"A key plank of our Infosys 3.0 strategy is to expand our C&SI. This acquisition fits perfectly into that strategy.


Lodestone and Infosys share a culture of unwavering focus on nurturing and maintaining client trust," Infosys CEO and Managing Director SD Shibulal said.


Headquartered in Zurich, Lodestone advises international companies on strategy and process optimisation, and provides business transformation solutions enabled by SAP's enterprise solutions.


Post-acquisition, the combined consulting practice focussing on SAP programs will deliver revenues of more than USD 1 billion, the statement added.


Infosys Consulting & Systems Integration business, today has more than 30,000 consultants across 10 industry verticals and accounts for 31% of the company's revenue.


The combination of the breadth of capabilities delivered by Infosys and Lodestone's experience of driving transformational change, is expected to provide clients across the two companies, a world-class team to accelerate transformation and innovation led growth, it said.


The Lodestone acquisition will also significantly enhance its global presence, particularly in continental Europe and emerging markets like Latin America and Asia Pacific.


"We are eager to leverage the widely acknowledged global reach of Infosys and its leadership in the consulting and technology arena to deliver greater value to our clients. This will enhance the momentum that Lodestone is already witnessing in the marketplace," Lodestone Chairman and CEO Ronald Hafnerv said.


Linklaters LLP is acting as the legal advisor to Infosys, while UBS AG is acting as financial advisor and Baker & McKenzie acted as legal advisor to Lodestone.


Domestic car sales down 19%, bikes' dip 8% in August

According to SIAM data, total vehicle sales across categories declined 3.9% to 13.5 lakh units in August  as against 14.1 lakh units same month last year

New Delhi: Domestic passenger car sales declined by 18.6% to 1.18 lakh units in August 2012 compared to 1.45 lakh units in the same month last year, reports PTI.


According to the data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), motorcycle sales in last month fell by 8.5% to 7.7 lakh units from 8.4 lakh units in the same month previous year.


"If the declining trend continues, if the September sales are also in the negative, then we won't meet the growth target," Sigato Sen, Senior Director, SIAM told reporters.


Total two-wheeler sales in August 2012 decreased by 4.5% to 10.6 lakh units from 11.1 lakh units in the same period of previous year.


However, total sales of commercial vehicles rose by 3.9% to 66,767 units from 64,248 units in the year-ago period, SIAM said.


Total sale of vehicles across categories registered a dip of 3.9% to 13.5 lakh units in August 2012 as against 14.1 lakh units same month a year ago, it added.


Fire on merchant vessel MV Amsterdam under control

Colombo-bound merchant vessel MV Amsterdam carrying hazardous cargo, caught fire near the Prongs Reef Lighthouse in South Mumbai yesterday

Mumbai: A major fire that broke out on the Colombo-bound merchant vessel MV Amsterdam Bridge off Mumbai coast has been contained and cooling operations are underway, reports PTI quoting Coast Guard officials.
"The flames have been contained but not extinguished. A thick plume of smoke continues to emanate from the vessel and fire-fighting as well as cooling operations are on," officials said.
The ship, carrying hazardous cargo, caught fire near the Prongs Reef Lighthouse in South Mumbai yesterday.
"It is learnt that 24 containers out of the 112 on board the vessel contained 45 tonnes of dangerous cargo," they said, adding some containers seemed to carry petrol, turpentine and some inflammable gas.
Coast Guard officials said that they have not witnessed any oil spill so far even though the ship fuel tank contained 2,600 tonnes of heavy fuel.
The cause of the blaze is not yet known but the actual seat of the fire has been localised in hold number three of the vessel, officials said.
Apart from four Indian Coast Guard ships -- ICGS Samudra Prahari, ICGS Subhadra Kumari Chouhan, ICGS Sankalp, ICGS Sangram -- two Indian naval vessels, two Mumbai Port Trust (MPT) fire-fighting tugs and five ONGC tugs are assisting the Coast Guard in containing the fire.
It is only after extinguishing the fire, that the estimate of the damage can be evaluated, officials said.
The crew of the 54,405 tonne vessel is safe, they said.
According to Coast Guard, the Antigua and Barbuda-flagged merchant vessel had anchored at the inner anchorage after discharging cargo at Nava Sheva, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) on Friday. It left for Colombo after loading containers and was supposed to reach the Sri Lankan capital tomorrow.


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