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United Phosphorus Ltd acquires Spanish firm CEQUISA
8th June 2005: United Phosphorus Ltd has informed BSE that the Company has purchased CEQUISA, a distributor and registrant of crop-protection products located in Barcelona, Spain, for Euro 11.5 million. The sale includes all stock and related entities, including the company's assets, products, registrations, property and rights associated with the business of CEQUISA and its subsidiaries.

CEQUISA had revenues of 19.3 million euros in 2004. The acquisition will be effective 07 June, 2005 and will be integrated into the European organization of the Company based in UK.

This acquisition provides the Company with a strong platform to expand and strengthen its presence in Southern Europe and Northern Africa with a broad product portfolio. After considerable growth both organically and acquisitions in USA, the Company has been actively pursuing opportunities for growth in the European Union. The CEQUISA opportunity is in line with this strategic push in Europe.

Warburg Pincus ups stake in Max Healthcare to 23%
6th June 2005: Warburg Pincus has increased its stake in Max Healthcare to 23% with an investment of Rs 115 crore. The equity investor has picked up Max Healthcare's 28.75 million equity shares of Rs 10 each at an issue price of Rs 40 per share.

"The latest fund infusion from Warburg Pincus is a part of the Rs 600 crore heathcare project of which we have now fully tied up the funding requirements," joint MD of Max India B Anantharaman said. The company is targeting revenue of Rs 147 crore this fiscal and expects to break-even in the next 18-24 months, Anantharaman said.

Warburg pincus had invested Rs 25 crore in January for a 13.8% stake in Max Heathcare. With this the total investment of Warburg Pincus in Max Healthcare now stands at Rs 140 crore. After the infusion, Max India holds 70% in Max Healthcare, Warburg Pincus has 23% and the remaining 7% is held by two foreign investors.

Warburg Pincus has completed its balance investment of Rs 119 crore in Max India taking its total investment to Rs 200 crore representing 28.7% stake. Warburg Pincus has so far invested Rs 340 crore in the Max Group over the last six months.

Six banks to get nod to merge RRBs
6th June 2005: The government is set to clear the proposal of six banks to consolidate their rural regional banks (RRBs). While the banks have been told to explain to their unions the benefit arising out of the mergers, the finance ministry is speeding up consolidation of RRBs.

The proposals have also been cleared by the states concerned. The State Bank of India’s proposal for amalgamation of Gorakhpur Kshetriya Gramin Bank and Basti Gramin Bank into a single RRB has been approved by the UP government. The new entity to be called Purvanchal Gramin Bank will have its headquarters at Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh.

Punjab National Bank’s (PNB) plan amalgamation of three RRBs - Vidur Gramin Bank, Muzaffarnagar Kshetriya Gramin Bank and Hindon Gramin Bank into a single RRB to be called Vidur Hindon Gramin Bank with its headquarters at Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh has been approved.

The Punjab government has also approved the proposal of PNB for amalgamation of three RRBs - Gurdaspur-Amritsar Kshetriya Gramin Vikas Bank, Kapurthala-Ferozpur Kshetriya Gramin Bank and Shivalim Kshetriya Gramin Bank into a single RRB called Punjab Gramin Bank, with its headquarters at Kapurthala in Punjab.

Bank of Baroda’ proposal for amalgamation of Valsad Dangs Gramin Bank, Surat Bharuch Gramin Bank and Panchmahahal Vadodara Gramin Bank into a single RRB to be called Bank of Baroda Gujarat Gramin Bank has also been approved. The consolidated entity will have its headquarters at Bharuch in Gujarat.

Central Bank of India’s proposal to merge Akola Kshetriya Gramin Bank, Yavatmal Kshetriya Gramin bank and Buldhana Gramin Bank has also been approved. The consolidated entity to be called Vidharbha Kshetriya Gramin Bank will have its headquarters at Akola in Maharashtra.

Dena Bank’s plans to merge Kutch Gramin Bank, Banaskantha Mehsana Gramin Bank and Sabarkantha Gandhinagar Gramin Bank into a single Dena Gujarat Gramin Bank have also been approved.

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