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State offers 90% cut in stamp duty to IT cos
In an effort to boost the IT sector in the state, the Maharashtra government today announced a 90 per cent concession in stamp duty to IT companies for all purposes, ranging from registration as well as mergers and acquisitions. For other sectors, the stamp duty on mergers, demergers and amalgamation of companies has been restructured and made uniform all over the state. Financial institutions, including banks, will now be treated on par with other companies . “ Till now companies had to pay heavy stamp duty on their mergers and de-mergers as the concerned Act considered only amalgamations. We have removed that anomaly. The new law takes into consideration other aspects like mergers and acquisitions, “ chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said today. Accordingly, the Bombay Stamp Duty Act has been amended. The new Act will charge “ 10 per cent of aggregate of market value of the shares issued or allotted in exchange or otherwise and the amount of consideration for the said amalgamation, provided the amount shall not exceed the amount equal to seven per cent of true market value of the immovable property located in Maharashtra”. The stamp duty used to vary according to the location of the company. “ This is the part of our proposed industrial policy. We want industry to grow in Maharashtra,” Ashok Chavan, revenue minister, told ET, while explaining the changes in the stamp duty Act. “ This is the era of convergence and a number of companies are going in for mergers and alliances. The existing stamp duty structure was the main impediment in it,” said Mr Chavan. According to him, the existing Act had no independent provision to consider mergers, de-mergers, acquisitions and other alliances. The new-look Act will consider all these aspects and deal with them accordingly. “ INITIALLY it may give an impression that the state is loosing the revenue due to these amendments but in the long run Maharashtra will be preferred place for companies to register,” he said. In the existing framework, the banking industry was not considered in the stamp duty Act. Henceforth, restructuring of banks will also attract stamp duty and those transactions will be,” treated on par with companies,” Mr chavan said.” The banking industry will also now enjoy the benefits being offered to other companies,” he said. Source: The Economic Times Dated: 5th January 2001

Saregama merger
Saregama India Ltd, an RPG group Company, has decided to transfer and merge its UK-based subsidiary Saregama Plc and Mauritius-based RPG Global Music Ltd. Source: Business Standard Dated: 2 January 2001

Dalmia tops Sheth offer for Gesco
The LAST round may have gone to the defenders, but the battle for taking over Gesco corp is by no means over. Abhishek Dalmia of the Delhi based AH Dalmia group has revised his offer price for 45 per cent of Gesco's equity capital to Rs. 45a share, topping the counter-offer price of the Sheth Mahindra combine of Rs. 44. The hostile bidder for the Mumbai-based Gesco corp had earlier indicated that he would revise his cially inform Sebi about the revised offer price on Wednesday Dalmia's original offer price was for Rs.27 a share for 45 per cen of the Company's equity. The Sheth-Mahindra combine, which made a counter-offer for 33.5 per cent of the Company's equity revised their price up to Rs. 44 from Rs. 36 per share, after the defenders bought out International Finance Corporation, Washington, the third largest promoter in the Company at Rs.44 per share. The Sheth-Mahindra combine acquired 6.3 per cent of Gesco at Rs. 44 a share from IFC, which sold its block of 18.2 lakh shares for a total consideration of around Rs. 8 crore. The Sheth-Mahindra combine hold 18 per cent of Gesco's equity. The shares were purchased by Mahindra Realty & Infrastructure Developers, the M&M group Company which is helping the Sheths fend off a hostile acquisition bid from the Dalmias. The last date for closing the offer has been revised to January 24, as against January 15 which was set earlier. Consequently, the closing date for the new offer made by Abhishek Dalmia also stands revised to January 24.

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