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Silicon Valley, Pentasoft to merge
21st April 2005: Pentasoft Technologies Ltd. plans to merge with Silicon Valley Infotech Ltd., the Bombay Stock Exchange said on Thursday. Shareholders of Pentasoft will get one share of Silicon Valley for every two shares held, it said.

SBI to merge its Nigerian arm with Nal Bank
21st April 2005: According to banking sources, SBI has opted for Nigeria following the stringent capital adequacy norms of the Central Bank of Nigeria. As per the new norms, a bank should have minimum equity capital of $190 million by December 2005. When contacted, SBI chairman declined to comment on the development.

Following the merger, State Bank of India’s (SBI) stake in its subsidiary - Indo Nigerian Bank is expected to come down, said sources. Currently SBI holds 51 per cent stake in Indo-Nigerian Bank Ltd with the remaining being held by institutional investors. It is learnt that the Reserve Bank of India has given the in-principle approval to the merger.

The Indo-Nigerian Bank Ltd is much smaller than Nal Bank with an equity base of $10 million. Nal Bank had an equity base was at $42.7 million (as on June 30, 2004) but this has been upped following an equity issue by the private bank in March 2005. SBI will continue to hold substantial stake in the merged entity even though Nal Bank is a much larger entity, said sources. The merged entity will be a universal bank with NAL Bank’s experience in corporate/investment banking and SBI’s competence in retail banking.

Nal Bank total assets plus contingents stood at Rs 1,114.3 crore or $255 million in June 2004 registering a growth of 17 per cent over the previous year. The bank’s profit before tax for the year ended June 30, 2004, was Rs 36.2 crore or $8.3 million, representing a 367 per cent increase over the previous year.

Indo-Nigerian Bank has total assets of Rs 137.8 crore or $3.15 million and a net profit of Rs 4.79 crore or $1.1 million as on March 2004. Institutional investors hold majority stake of 62 per cent in Nal Bank and Nigerian citizens hold 35 per cent.

The Central Bank of Nigeria is keen on strengthening banks in the country and is urging them to consolidate, said sources. SBI is one of the major Indian banks to have presence in Nigeria.

Dishman Pharmaceuticals announces acquisition of Synprotec, UK
20th April 2005: Dishman Pharmaceuticals & Chemicals Ltd has informed BSE that the Company has acquired a Manchester UK based Contract Research Company, M/s Synprotec Ltd, through its 100% wholly owned UK based subsidiary company M/s Dishman Europe Ltd.

The Assets base of Synprotec (excluding the value of IP and without revaluation of assets) is currently around pound sterling 2 million and the Company has negotiated the cost of acquisition even below this price. The acquisition of Synprotec in the hands of the Company will be as a Debt free Company. Synprotec has Contract R&D and manufacturing capabilities in UK and has created a strong IP having serviced major global pharma MNCs and specialty chemical companies. At the time of acquisition it has a healthy order book covering CR assignments of several Molecules for various MNCs, having value of around Pound Sterling 2 million.

The Synprotec acquisition is a major step for the Company in its CRO / CMO strategy. Synprotec has an excellent track record of more than 20 years of customer relationships with pharma and chemical multinationals through its strong market presence in Europe and USA. Since contract research is the best way forward for getting contract manufacturing business, Synprotec's past, present and future CR assignments will provide excellent scale-up opportunities within Company's manufacturing plants.

The Company will retain all key technical personnel including the services of Dr. Peter Nightingale - the founder Promoter of Synprotec, who will now form part of the Global Technical Board of the Dishman Group.

The move will increase the Company's global manpower, outside India, to more than 50 and this will strengthen the Company's activities in Contract Research and Manufacturing as well as further improve the European and US interface with customers.

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