Groupe Danone, the global dairy products major based in France, netted a capital gain of Rs380 crore (¤56 million) when it recently divested its indirect 25.5 per cent holding in theBangalore-based biscuit major Britannia Industries.Danone and the Mumbaibased Wadia Group in April 2009 agreed to end their 13year-old jointventure for running Britannia Industries for around Rs 900 crore. The relationship had turnedsour during the preceding 18 months owing to a range of issues — intellectual property rightsover Britannia’s ‘Tiger’ brand of biscuits, a minority stake purchase by Danone in Bangalore-based nutraceuticals firm Avesthagen, to Danone’s application to the Indian government to dobusiness in India on its own.Wadia Group and Danone owned 25.48 per cent each in Britannia through Associated BiscuitsInternational Holdings (ABIH), a London-based company. This company, in turn, owned 50.96per cent in Britannia. Leila Lands, a Mauritius-based investment firm and wholly-ownedsubsidiary of Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation, a Wadia Wadia Group company, bought outthe Danone stake, giving the Wadias complete control.Group company, bought out the Danone stake, giving the Wadias complete control.
4.Mid-rung Bollywood houses enter regional movie sector
With the release of its first Kannada movie, Houseful ,a comedy starring south Indian actorDiganth, Maverick Productions ventured into regional cinema in July. The mid-rung Bollywoodfirm is making three more regional movies, one each in Kannada, Gujarati and Malayalam,slated to be released this year.At least 10 other midrung production houses are following, mainly driven away by the highproduction costs of Bollywood movies. Further reasons like entry of corporates into productionof Hindi films, a growing regional film sector and a rising number of multiplexes across statesare other reasons.Ultra Distribution, Shri Ashtavinayak Cine Vision, Seven Star Creations, Down Town Films andSpectra Multimedia, among others, which were into production of Hindi films, have alreadylined 10-12 regional films this year.“We ventured into production of regional movies as costs of producing Hindi movies haveescalated. Producing a Bollywood movie involves a high-degree of risk compared with that of aregional film, which is still a niche market,” Ultra Distribution’s Chairman and ManagingDirector Sushilkumar Agarwal told Business Standard.The cost of an average Hindi movie is around Rs 30-35 crore, more than 10 times that of theaverage regional film. It would cost around Rs 1-3 crore for making a Gujarati or Marathi film,while a Bhojpuri one would cost around Rs 50 lakh to 2 crore. So, too, with Malayalam (Rs 80lakh–Rs 3 crore), Kannada (Rs 1.5-3 crore) and Bangla (Rs 80 lakh- Rs 3 crore).
5.Bharti Airtel may sweeten MTN offer
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