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FIPB: Singtel’s India Buyout Proposal Approved; Gruner + Jahr Put On Hold

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Singtel has finally received (pdf) an approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for its proposal to buy out minority shareholders in Singtel Global (India) Pvt Ltd. It has received an approval for an investment of up to Rs 2.98 crore for this purpose.

Singtel had applied for the FIPB approval of the proposed buyout in October 2013, after the government had allowed 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in telecom in July 2013. However, the proposal had been temporarily postponed by FIPB in November 2013 and was later deferred.

In the same meeting, Vodafone Group had also received FIPB’s approval to buy out its minority stakeholders in Vodafone India, although the telco has to get a final approval from Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) since the proposed investment (Rs 10,141 crore) is much higher than the threshold limit of FIPB, which is currently at Rs 1200 crore.

Besides this, Broadband service provider Tikona Digital Networks has also received an approval to raise an investment of Rs 248 crore and increase the foreign equity stake in the company to 72.58%.

Gruner + Jahr On Hold

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Among other proposals, German media company Gruner + Jahr’s proposal to increase its stake from 78.75% to upto 100% in an Indian company which produces specialty and lifestyle magazines has been temporarily postponed.

We believe this is probably the Maxposure Media Group, in which Gruner + Jahr had acquired 78.75% stake in August 2011. Maxposure currently publishes 27 consumer & corporate magazines across various verticals. This includes Andpersand, Estetica, FHM India, Diabetic Living, Parents India, Parents India Advice, L’Officiel India and others (ReadOn The State Of The Magazine Industry In India; Outlook Shuts Three Magazines).

Note that another German magazine major Burda had also acquired the Indian media house Exposure Media Marketing and had announced plans to invest Rs 150 crore in the Indian market last year. This was after its group company Burda Druck GmbH had bought out HT Media’s 51% stake in its joint venture HT Burda Media Ltd for Rs 60 crore.

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