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Singapore Airlines not to join Tata Group in bid for Air India

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by S Venkat Narayan

Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, January 30:

Singapore Airlines (SIA) is not keen to join India’s Tata Group in its bid for state-owned Air India, The Economic Times has reported quoting informed sources.

The Tata Group had hoped to rope in SIA and make the bid by way of their Vistara three-way partnership. The SIA has waived their no-compete clause, permitting the Tata Group to go forward with a solo bid for the ailing Air India.

Tata had been attempting to influence SIA to affix it on the Air India bid for months. A key cause for SIA’s reluctance is alleged to have been the long-term funding that Air India might need to return to viability.

Tata Sons, the holding firm of the conglomerate, cannot bid without SIA’s approval and its waiver of the no-compete clause. Tata may bid by itself or by way of its AirAsia India unit, in which it has been rising its stake, decreasing that of three-way partnership companion AirAsia Bhd.

While there are some challenges relating to this latter avenue, the group can work round them, executives said.

The Indian government is expected to take the process forward after shortlisting bidders for the airline by the end of the month.

“Putting in a bid through a particular entity is just a formality and not a challenge,” said a group executive. “The real work starts when EY will begin the due diligence on the bid once the government gives us the access to the data room.”

SIA declined to comment. “Singapore Airlines does not comment on investment opportunities, including in India,” said a spokesperson.

Like its global peers, the SIA too has been hit by the pandemic, forcing it to cut pay and retrench employees. The airliner will need to pump funds into itself rather than commit funds to Air India.

The Tata Group had been eager to make the bid by way of Vistara, which is also a full-service airline, and would have meant operational synergies. Tata Sons holds 51% of Vistara and SIA owns 49%. The firm is registered as Tata SIA Airlines Ltd.

AirAsia Bhd is understood to have released Tata from their no-compete clause, leaving the latter free to bid for Air India.

The Air India privatisation programme additionally consists of Air India Express, its regional worldwide low-fare arm. Tata Sons is elevating its stake in AirAsia India to 87% from 51%. The companions have been in talks to part ways as AirAsia Bhd plans to exit loss-making companies in India and Japan.

The Air India divestment has obtained expressions of interest from three entities, including the Tata Group. One of the choices being thought-about is getting a new group entity to bid for the enterprise. The Tata Sons M&A workforce and CFO Sourav Agarwal have been examining the financial contours of a possible transaction.

 

 

 



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Hemas Consumer strengthens portfolio with L’Oréal partnership in Sri Lanka

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Hemas Consumer, the leading manufacturer and distributor in Sri Lanka’s beauty and personal care sector has strengthened its portfolio of offerings in a groundbreaking partnership with the world’s number one beauty company, L’Oréal. With this partnership Hemas Consumer obtains distributor rights to leverage its sales network and innovative marketing approaches in taking L’Oréal’s wide range of beauty and personal care brands across Sri Lanka.

Commenting on the new partnership, Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne, Managing Director, Hemas Consumer & Executive Director Hemas Group said, “We have spent over fifty years building successful and strong consumer brands in Sri Lanka. In keeping with our promise of consumer delight and trust, we are elated to partner a world-class cosmetics group like L’Oréal expanding our existing portfolio with the world’s most sought-after beauty and personal care products.

We are well equipped in our distribution process with island-wide sales channels to serve all parts of the country. I believe this partnership will revolutionize Sri Lanka’s beauty care industry and more prospects await as we continue to look ahead with L’Oréal.”

Sabrina Esufally, Director Business Development and Innovation at Hemas Consumer said, “This partnership will enable Sri Lankans to access the iconic brands and solutions created through years of research and innovation by L’Oréal. In the fast evolving and dynamic beauty industry, the combined strength of Hemas’s local heritage and penetration, and L’Oréal’s global technology and trust is the perfect recipe for consumer delight.”

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DFCC Bank supports industrial excellence by partnering CNCI Achiever Awards

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DFCC Bank PLC, stepped up once again for the 3rd consecutive year to partner with the Ceylon National Chamber of Industries (CNCI) as the principal sponsor and official banking partner of the CNCI Achiever Awards 2020.

The CNCI Achiever Awards was held for the 19th consecutive time to recognize the outstanding efforts of exceptional performers who have molded their respective industries with innovative solutions, while overcoming challenges and meeting the demands of their clientele. This year, the event was recently held under strict health guidelines at the Galadari Hotel in Colombo. 

Commenting on the sponsorship, Chief Executive Officer of DFCC Bank PLC Lakshman Silva stated, “We are pleased to have partnered with the Ceylon National Chamber of Industries (CNCI), as the Main Sponsor and Official Banking Partner of the 19th CNCI Achiever Awards 2020. DFCC is honored to partner in reconciling successful Sri Lankan businesses from various industrial sectors. Our partnership with this prestigious awards programme aligns seamlessly with our commitment to foster and reward industrial growth across the country and support local entrepreneurs in MSME & SME sectors.”

 

 

 

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Lanka SSL triumphs with National Gold and Top Ten Awards

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CNCI Achiever Awards 2020

Lanka Special Steel Limited (Lanka SSL), a trusted name in wires and a fully-owned subsidiary of E B Creasy & Company PLC, was recently awarded the coveted National Gold Award under the Extra Large category in the Manufacturing Sector at the Achiever Awards 2020 for Industrial Excellence.

The annual event organized by the Ceylon National Chamber of Industries (CNCI) was held in March 2021 at Colombo, and celebrated some of the leading industrialists in the country for their tremendous and continued efforts in uplifting and promoting quality standards, productivity, growth and strategy, R&D, employee welfare and others whilst contributing to both the society and economy at large.

‘We are immensely proud to have been recognized with two very prominent awards at this year’s CNCI Achiever Awards. It is a huge leap from just winning a Merit Award the last time around, and this incredible achievement certainly reflects our highly ambitious plans to strive for continued excellence. We would like to thank our valued customers and all stakeholders. We are grateful to our hardworking and committed staff at Lanka SSL who have made this possible,’ said Pravin De Silva, CEO of Lanka SSL.

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