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The latest deals involving Indian companies and law firms.

25 May 2012
Corporate M&A

Wireless Exclusive: Amarchand Mangaldas, AZB with international firms Jones Day and Penningtons advised Bharti Airtel on its $165m purchase of Qualcomm 4G spectrum licences in India, according to several sources close to the deal.

24 May 2012
Corporate M&A

Thomas Cook flies awayAZB & Partners and international law firm Shearman & Sterling advised a Canadian financial holdings company’s investment subsidiary Fairbridge Capital in its purchase of 76.81 per cent equity for Rs 817 crore ($150m) in British holiday maker Thomas Cook Group’s (TCG) Indian subsidiary Thomas Cook India (TCIL). TCG was advised by Trilegal with international best friend law firm Allen & Overy.

23 May 2012
Corporate M&A

clip_image001J Sagar Associates (JSA) and international law firm DLA Piper advised Dutch pension services provider APG Strategic Real Estate pool Netherlands in its Rs 650 crore ($123m) investment in leading Indian hotel chain Lemon Tree Hotels and its subsidiary Fleur Hotels which were advised by AZB & Partners.

22 May 2012
Deals in brief

The rest of the week's deals in one packageMergers and joint ventures lead last month’s largest deals, while private equity, capital markets, litigation and competition policy also nestle in.

11 May 2012
Corporate M&A linkedin-iconFox Mandal Bangalore instructed by US law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati (WSGR) advised business and professional networking website LinkedIn on its Rs 632 crore ($118m) acquisition of presentation sharing service Slideshare which was advised by US law firm Fenwick & West LLP.
04 May 2012
Finance

Khaitan & Co advised public sector undertaking Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) in its external commercial borrowing (ECB) of Rs 1,343 crore ($250m) from State Bank of India, Singapore which was advised by Baker & McKenzie Wong & Leow and Dua Associates.

03 May 2012
Deals in brief

imageLast month’s largest deals and the legal advisers that guided and benefited from them.

30 April 2012
Corporate M&A

Bharucha & Partners advised Axis Bank that sold 25 per cent of its shares in Axis Asset Management to Amarchand Mangaldas-advised Schroders.

30 April 2012
Corporate M&A

J Sagar Associates advised TVS Logistics Services, opposite AZB & Partners’ Mumbai and Delhi offices that respectively advised Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) on its first round of funding and Goldman Sachs on its second investment into the Indian logistics company that has plans to aggressively expand abroad.

20 April 2012
Corporate M&A

Bombay Stock Exchange AZB & Partners advised Nasdaq-listed information technology services company iGate Corp in its Rs 1,400 crore ($271m) voluntary delisting of its Mumbai-based unit Patni computer systems, which was jointly advised by Wadia Ghandy and international law firm Hogan Lovells.

19 April 2012
Corporate M&A

M&A league table Amarchand Mangaldas and Luthra & Luthra have each racked up over $10bn worth of deals to top the M&A Indian mergermarket league table for the first quarter of 2012, displacing 2011 first quarter (Q1) frontrunner AZB & Partners.

13 April 2012
Corporate M&A

image Amarchand Mangaldas’ Bangalore office advised Japan’s largest non-life insurer Mitsui Sumitomo in its Rs 2,731 crore ($530m) purchase of 26 per cent in the joint venture (JV) of Indian insurer Max India and US insurer New York Life Insurance, which were respectively advised by AZB & Partners and Paul Weiss, and Platinum Partners and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

11 April 2012
Deals in brief

imageFourteen law firms kept busy in a sideways economy with 14 deals in corporate, private equity and banking and finance. Find out what the industry has been up to.

30 March 2012
Capital Markets

Promoter-friendly issueS&R Associates and Jones Day advised the book running lead managers (LMs) Kotak Mahindra Capital and UBS Securities India on the first ever Institutional Placement Programme (IPP) in India. Indian realty major Godrej Properties’ (GPL) issued a private placement of Rs 4.9 bn ($95m) of equity shares worth Rs 575 each. GPL was advised by Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co.

27 March 2012
Corporate M&A

Akila Agrawal Amarchand Mangaldas scored a first-time mandate for Japanese conglomerate NEC Corporation in assisting Davis Polk & Wardwell in its $449m (Rs 2280 crore) acquisition of US telecoms company Convergys Corporation’s information management (IM) business.

26 March 2012
Deals in brief

imageLegally India’s round-up of the latest 15 cases and deals and their legal advisers, including Luthra’s defence of Yahoo! India in two high-profile cases, and a massive boom in debt capital markets – but only one equity cap markets deal for AZB.

19 March 2012
Private equity / VC

India, fabricating fabulous kurtas since 1960 AZB & Partners has for the first time advised L Capital, the private equity arm of luxury goods giant Louis Vuitton Moët Hennesy (LVMH), which bought 8 per cent in Indian clothes and lifestyle product retailer Fabindia from Wolfensohn Capital Partners, which was represented by Luthra & Luthra. Menon Associates is understood to be representing Premji Invest on its 7 per cent investment.

15 March 2012
Corporate M&A

Buildin' roads!Desai & Diwanji advised the Ashok Piramal Group in its Rs 1250 crore to Rs 1500 crore ($250m to $300m) three-way joint venture (JV) with Canadian engineering group SNC-Lavalin, which was advised by Economic Laws Practice (ELP), and IDFC project equity’s investment fund India Infrastructure fund (IIF), which was advised by Khaitan & Co.

14 March 2012
Litigation

MCX-SX might get wider trading future The Bombay High Court has today ruled in favour of MCX Stock Exchange (MCX-SX), represented by J Sagar Associates (JSA) and Naik Naik & Co, against the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) decision to prevent MCX from trading in derivatives and other products.

13 March 2012
Corporate M&A

K Law and Linklaters have advised Reliance Industries on its Rs 22bn ($450m) joint venture with Russian petro company Sibur, which was advised by Khaitan & Co and Herbert Smith, as Legally India had earlier reported.

09 March 2012
Deals in brief

Deals deals deals Six deals in brief covering capital markets, M&A, competition law and more.

28 February 2012
Corporate M&A

Khaitan & Co., alongside Herbert Smith, advised Russian petrochemical giant Sibur in sale of 74.9 per cent equity for Rs 22 bn ($450 m) to Reliance Industries for setting up a joint venture (JV) Greenfield project manufacturing synthetic rubber. Reliance Industries was advised in-house.

27 February 2012
Corporate M&A

Khaitan & Co, alongside Travers Smith, advised legal process outsourcing (LPO) company CPA Global in its acquisition by European buyout firm Cinven which was advised by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

27 February 2012
Corporate M&A

mining Amarchand Mangaldas Delhi office has scooped the mandate to merge Vedanta’s Sterlite Industries unit with Sesa Goa to decrease the mining conglomerate’s debt.

23 February 2012
Deals in brief

Deals in brief 17 deals and cases in brief this week, spanning M&A, a raft of financings, private equity, debt and equity capital markets and litigation.

15 February 2012
Corporate M&A

Uninterruptible powerExclusive: Amarchand Mangaldas advised French electrical and digital building infrastructure major Legrand Group in its Rs 837 crore ($171m) acquisition of Chennai-based Numeric Power Systems’ uninterruptible power supply (UPS) business, which as advised by Universal Legal.

13 February 2012
Corporate M&A

Telecoms in India: Old news, get out now? Khaitan & Co advised Bahrain-headquartered telecom service provider Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco) in its $174m stake sale in its Indian joint venture STel to Skycity Foundation, which was advised by Rajani Associates.

08 February 2012
Projects

Road worksExclusive: Amarchand and Mangaldas has replaced last year’s project finance leader Luthra & Luthra to secure the top rank among India’s 10 highest cap project deal firms in 2011, according to data provider Dealogic.

03 February 2012
Deals in brief

Deals in briefDeals with Dua Associates, AZB & Partners, Khaitan & Co, Vichar Partners, Majmudar & Co, J Sagar Associates (JSA) and more…

01 February 2012
Corporate M&A

Pharma DSK Legal advised Bangalore-based pharmaceutical company Strides Arcolab in the sale of its 94 per cent shareholding in its Australian and Southeast Asian subsidiary Ascent Pharmahealth to US- based Watson Pharmaceuticals for A$375m (Rs 1965 crore), alongside Herbert Smith and Australian firms Freehills and Middletons.

31 January 2012
Corporate M&A

Starbucks: Everywhere Luthra & Luthra has advised Tata Global Beverages on its joint venture with US coffee chain giant Starbucks Corp, which drafted in Amarchand Mangaldas.

20 January 2012
Private equity / VC

J Sagar Associates (JSA) advised Gurgaon-based cloud telephony solutions provider Knowlarity Communications on a Rs 34 crore ($6.6m) investment it received from California-based Venture Capital firm Sequoia Capital, which was advised by Luthra & Luthra.

20 January 2012
Private equity / VC

Exclusive: AZB & Partners Delhi office advised NBFC Religare Finvest in which private equity firm NYLIM Jacob Ballas purchased a Rs 200 crore ($39.8m) stake, which was advised by S&R Associates.

19 January 2012
Private equity / VC

image Exclusive: Desai & Diwanji advised private equity house Olympus Capital Asia Investments in its purchase of over Rs 500 crore ($100m) in DM Healthcare, which was advised by Universal Legal’s Chennai office, with the exiting investors India Value Fund represented by DSK Legal.

18 January 2012
Corporate M&A

Domestic M&A league table by deal values (source mergermarket, graphic: Mint)Mint exclusive: India’s corporate law firms advised on fewer and smaller mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the 2011 calendar year than in 2010, which affected revenues but still kept firms such as AZB & Partners, Amarchand Mangaldas, Khaitan & Co, J Sagar Associates (JSA) and Desai & Diwanji busy with a lion’s share of work.

13 January 2012
Private equity / VC

Four-month-old start-up Alliance Legal has advised Fourcee Infrastructure Equipments, with Economic Laws Practice (ELP), Wadia Ghandy and Amarchand Mangaldas respectively assisting the exiting, entering and continuing private equity investors Mayfield Fund, General Atlantic and India Equity Partners.

13 January 2012
Private equity / VC

image J Sagar Associates (JSA) continued its relationship with private equity major Blackstone in the Rs 800 crore ($156m) purchase of DLF Ackruti Infopark in Pune, which drafted in Amarchand Mangaldas.

12 January 2012
Corporate M&A

image Exclusive: AZB & Partners Mumbai and Khaitan & Co’s Delhi office have scooped the mandate to advise on Reliance Industries bid to invest in two Network18 subsidiaries for more than Rs 1,500 crore ($290m).

12 January 2012
Deals in brief

imageThe latest and greatest deals and cases not yet covered, rounded up for you in one convenient bite-size package.

11 January 2012
Capital Markets

image MV Kini & Co took advantage of the government go-ahead to four major PSUs to issue tax-free bonds, advising National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) on its Rs 10,000 crore ($1.93bn) issue of 28 December 2011.

11 January 2012
Corporate M&A

J Sagar Associates (JSA) advised Simbhaoli Sugars on its Rs 330 crore ($63.8m) joint venture with Singapore-based sustainable resources company Sindicatum, which was advised by Axon Partners LLP for the first time.

06 January 2012
Corporate M&A

Amarchand Mangaldas advised DLF Home Developers on Rs 430 crore ($81.5m) sale of its subsidiary Haamid Real Estates to realty firm M3M India, which was advised by Desai & Diwanji.

20 December 2011
Deals in brief

imageRead Legally India’s December and late November deals round-up to find out what friends and colleagues have been up to.

02 December 2011
Litigation

Dirty but not a 'formal biopic'Exclusive: The Andhra Pradesh writ petition filed by the brother of late South Indian actress Silk Smitha against the movie loosely inspired by her life, The Dirty Picture, has been dismissed in favour of the movie’s producer Balaji Motion Pictures, represented by Naik Naik & Co, and the Censor Board, represented by Verus Advocates recently joined Hyderabad partner.

09 November 2011
Deals in brief

imageA wrap of the past weeks’ major deals and their advisers, featuring all the usual suspects plus Rajani, LexCounsel, Prism, HSB, SJ Law, Travers, Nabarro, DLA and more…

10 October 2011
Corporate M&A

MnA-pie_lrg Desai & Diwanji has again reclaimed its throne as the busiest M&A firm in India having acted on 33 deals in the first three quarters of the year with Khaitan & Co also laying down improved M&A figures, while AZB & Partners, Talwar Thakore Associates and S&R Associates harvested the biggest value deals, also benefitting Linklaters and Allen & Overy.

30 September 2011
Deals in brief

imageFour senior counsel and Naik in SLP against immovable property rental service tax; AZB Bangalore Muthoot debentures; Universal-Wadia Ghandy Pizza Hut deal; Infrastructure India windfarm buy with 3 foreign firms and KhaiCo, MMB; ANM for Godrej in cyber squatter; Rs 200 crore P&A Kemrock buy; Amarchand Essar delisting.

23 September 2011
Deals in brief

imageAmarchand goes down under for $1.3bn GVK coal mine buy with Minters, Cliffords; Ex-AZBer’s Vishnu gets busy with Credit Suisse; Vaish hits the capital markets; JSA, KhaiCo, Amarchand disinvest in NYSE-Co; Amarchand restructures Alstom; and Naik gets a John Doe order.

21 September 2011
Deals in brief

image

Amarchand on Fortis mammoth internal restructuring, and Alfa Laval delisting; Desai & Diwanji and Seth Dua on two related private equity injections; Khaitan & Co gets close to Raiffeisen; JSA helps Naukri owner expand online reach to Zomato and beyond; MDP gets Cox & Kings out of Maharaja Express pickle for now; JSA and MD&T Partners get Indians to make hoses with Spaniards.

19 September 2011
Corporate M&A

AZB & Partners Delhi and P&A Associates advised on the sale of AppLabs to Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) for as much as Rs 1,200 crore ($253m).

19 September 2011
Corporate M&A

Exclusive: DSK Legal’s Delhi office has scored the role advising Japanese telecoms major Softbank Corp on its $200m strategic investment in Bangalore-based mobile ad network InMobi, alongside four international firms.

14 September 2011
Litigation

imageNaik Naik & Co has represented Bollywood actor Imran Khan and a student in their Bombay High Court writ petition challenging Maharashtra’s increase of the minimum drinking age to 25 years.

12 September 2011
Corporate M&A

image Amarchand Mangaldas advised Tommy Hilfiger with Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz in its 50 per cent stake in joint venture partner Arvind Murjani Brands, which was advised by DM Harish & Co and Pryor Cashman.

09 September 2011
Deals in brief

imageBest of deals, including three exclusive venture capital/private equity deals featuring DSK, Sand Hill, Induslaw, Khaitan and Nishith Desai, as well as a banking, M&A and projects wrap.

23 August 2011
Deals in brief

image Mirah Hospitality with Desai & Diwanji; Amarchand, Rajani, Khaitan on $350m Welspun PE; Luthra in EU pharma tax case; ELP AP tax victory for MAS-GMR; Khaitan-Clifford on StanChart loan; SRGR-KJSV project; JSA-Prolegal consultancy.

23 August 2011
Litigation

Naik Naik & Co has succeeded in challenging the three states’ orders banning the film Aarakshan before the Supreme Court, following an earlier favourable order before the Bombay High Court.

Naik Naik & Co partner Madhu Gadodia summarised the case before the Supreme Court:

Prakash Jha Productions and Mr. Prakash Jha (“Petitioners”) filed a petition in the Hon’ble Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, challenging the orders passed by State of Uttar Pradesh, State of Punjab and Andhra Pradesh (collectively “Respondents”) suspending the exhibition of the film “Aarakshan” (“Film”) in their respective territories for a certain period. While the State of Punjab and Andhra Pradesh subsequently revoked their orders of suspension, the State of Uttar Pradesh continued the ban / suspension by their order dated 10th August, 2011.

The state of Uttar Pradesh had passed the suspension order in accordance with Section 6 (1) of the UP Cinemas (Regulation) Act which entitles the State Government to suspend the exhibition of a film which is being exhibited for a period of two films if there is reasonable likelihood / apprehension of breach of public order. The Petitioners therefore filed the petition seeking the relief in terms of striking down section 6 (1) of the UP Cinemas (Regulation) Act, the same being ultra vires the Constitution. The Petitioners also sought setting aside the decision taken by the Respondents prohibiting the screening of the Film in their respective states for a specified period.

Notices were issued to all Respondents and the matter was placed for hearing today. Counsel Mr. Harish Salve and Mr. Ameet Naik appeared for the Petitioners. Counsel Mr. A.S Chandiok appeared for Union of India and Counsel Mr. Uday Lalit appeared for State of UP. The matter was argued at length. The Hon’ble Court observed that since the states of Punjab and Andhra Pradesh had withdrawn the suspension orders and the Film is being exhibited in these two states, the petition is infructuous as far as these two states are concerned.

Mr. Salve and Mr. Naik submitted that the exercise of power by the State Govt. of UP to suspend the exhibition of the Film in UP amounts to pre-censorship of the Film which is the responsibility of Central Board of Film Certification (“Censor Board”), the statutory body constituted under the Cinematograph Act for the said purpose. In the present case, the State Govt. of UP has in the Impugned order cited several scenes of the Film which are objectionable in their view and which are required to be deleted as a pre-condition for exhibition of the Film. Therefore, the power sought to be exercised by the State Government under Section 6 (1) of the Uttar Pradesh (Cinemas) Regulation Act (“UP Act”) in the present case is without jurisdiction.

The scheme of the said section is to temporarily suspend the exhibition of a film to enable the State Government to make appropriate arrangements to deal with and maintain the law and order situation. The said section does not empower the State Govt. to step into the shoes of Censor Board and make decision / suggestion regarding the content of the Film as in the present case. Moreover, the provision of Section 6 (1) of the UP Act is to be exercised only when a film is “being publicly exhibited” and there is apprehension of breach of public order. In the present case, the Film was not publicly exhibited until the date of the Impugned order i.e 10th August, 2011 (Film was scheduled for release on 126th August, 2011).

Therefore, the question of State Govt. exercising its powers under Section 6 (1) of the UP Act did not arise. Mr. Salve also relied upon judgments of Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of S. Rangarajan vs. P Jagjevan Ram & Ors. and Union of India & Ors. vs. P. Jagjivan Ram & Ors and Sankarappa and Bombay High Court in the case of Kamal Khan vs. State of Maharashtra holding that the fundamental freedom under Article 19 (1) (a) can be reasonably restricted only for the purposes mentioned in Article 19(2) and the restriction must be justified on the anvil of necessity and not on the quicksand of convenience or expediency.

Freedom of expression which is legitimate and constitutionally protected, cannot be held to ransom by an intolerant group of people. Open criticism of Government policies and operations is not a ground for restricting expression. We must practice tolerance to the views of others. Intolerance is as much dangerous to democracy as to the person himself.

Mr. Chandiok appearing for the Union of India supported the contentions of the Petitioners and submitted that once a film was certified for public exhibition by the Censor Board, the State Governments are not empowered to interfere with the exhibition of the Film.

Mr. Lalit appearing for State of UP submitted that the State Govt. had suspended the exhibition of the Film in accordance with Section 6(1) of the UP Act since there was likelihood of breach of public order and the same was the basis of such apprehensions were certain press reports. He also submitted that the Film was viewed by a committee of experts constituted by the State Govt. of UP and apprehended to cause breach of public order.

Upon hearing the parties at length, the Hon’ble Court observed that admittedly, the Film was certified for public exhibition by the Censor Board who had also constituted a special committee comprising of persons from SC, ST and OBC. The certification was granted in accordance with the provisions of Cinematograph Act and Rules and Guildelines thereunder. Pursuant to certification, the Film is being exhibited in various parts of India without any problem of law and order.

Moreover, the Hon’ble court observed that the term “being publicly exhibited” in section 6 of the UP Act pre-supposes “exhibition” of the film. Such power cannot be exercised in respect of a film which is yet to be exhibited. “Suspension” envisages that which is functional / running. Therefore the UP Govt. ought not to have exercised their powers under Section 6 (1) of the UP Act for a film that was not being exhibited. The decision taken at that stage cannot envisage future exhibition. The Hon’ble Court also observed that the apprehensions of UP Govt. don’t hold substance in view of the fact that the Film is being exhibited in other states, which are also sensitive states, without any difficulty.

The court further observed that reservation in addition to being a sensitive issue is also a social issue and in a vibrant democracy like ours, such discussion on social issues bring in awareness which is required for effective working of our democracy. Infact, when there is dissent on such issues an informed decision can be taken which is necessary at this stage. The Hon’ble Court upheld the observations in the case of Sankarappa and Rangarajan case and held that the right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19 (1) (a) cannot be taken for granted and once the Censor Board has certified the film for public exhibition, it is not open for the State Governments to perform the role of pre-censorship.

In the above background, the Hon’ble Supreme Court allowed the petition to the extent of challenge to the suspension orders passed by the State of UP and set aside / quashed the order dated 10th August, 2011 passed by the UP Govt. suspending the exhibition of the Film for a period of two months in the State of UP. The order was dictated in open court. Therefore, as per the order the Film can be released in the state of UP with immediate effect without any obstruction.

11 August 2011
Corporate M&A

image Exclusive: S&R Associates is advising Vodafone Group on its disposal of 5.5 per cent of the shares in Vodafone Essar for $640m to Piramal Healthcare, which is relying on Amarchand Mangaldas as lead adviser with Linklaters and Slaughter and May, as well as Crawford Bayley and Stephenson Harwood.

11 August 2011
Litigation

image Naik Naik & Co represented the producers of the Amitabh Bachchan starrer Aarakshan (reservation) and successfully persuaded the Bombay High Court not to stay the release of the film, which has been attracting controversy for its purported anti-reservation message.