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RIL to acquire 72.7% stake in Embibe

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) executed definitive agreements to acquire majority shareholding constituting 72.69% from existing investors of Embibe, as per BSE release.

Reliance has agreed to invest ~$180mn into Embibe, over the next three years. Embibe will use the capital towards deepening its R&D on AI in education, as well as business growth and geographic expansion, catering to students across K-12, higher education, professional skilling, vernacular languages and all curriculum categories across India and internationally. The founder and CEO of Embibe, Aditi Avasthi will continue in her leadership role and will drive the growth of the business.

Sun Pharma receives tentative approval for Metformin HCL, Sitagliptin Phosphate

Sun Pharma Sun Pharma has received tentative approval for Metformin HCL and Sitagliptin Phosphate, as per the USFDA website. Combination of Metformin HCL and Sitagliptin Phosphate are sold under the brand Janumet by Merck Sharp and Dohme Corp. Sun Pharma already has tentative approval for Sitagliptin Phosphate, which is sold under Januvia.

Janumet with Januvia clocked global sales of $6.1bn in 2017.

Metformin HCL and Sitagliptin Phosphate medicines help lower blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. They have been under pricing pressure, but have been showing strong volume growth globally, as per Merck’s Q4 results.

McDonald’s to launch seven new products this summer; Westlife stock up 2%

Westlife Development (WLDL), franchisee of McDonald announced the introduction of new swirls, beverages and sides at pocket friendly prices, as the summer hits and vacation time is around the corner. It is introducing seven new products along with its signature burgers under its value platform, McSavers. McDonald’s has a strategy of everyday value rather than discounting or promotions. This summer they are offering a combination – McSaver’s combo – available with one food option and one beverage/McSwril at a starting price of Rs65.

With the mango season approaching, the company is introducing McSwirls and Fruit Splashes in Mango flavour. The newly introduced products include, three side dishes (Rs38-69), two flavors of Swirls (Rs35 price point) and Fruit Splashes each and one sauce, to be served with side dishes (Rs20).

Ashok Leyland bags Rs100cr defence order for rocket-carrying vehicles

One of India’s largest commercial vehicle (CV) manufacturers, Ashok Leyland Limited (ALL) has bagged an order from the Ministry of Defence worth Rs100cr. The order is for supplying ALL’s High Mobility 10×10 vehicles (HMV 10×10). The HMV 10×10 is used by the Indian Army for carrying Smerch Rockets.

Despite heavy discounting for CVs, its EBITDA margin expanded 100bps yoy to 11.1% in Q3FY18 due to superior product mix and BS-IV migration. ALL will invest Rs400cr in a new LCV platform to launch a new product every six months. It has retained profitability (EBITDA margin >10%) in recent times, even at the cost of some market share loss (from 44% in FY16 to 33% currently). ALL is the third largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles (trucks, buses, tippers, trailers and defence vehicles) in India with 33% market share (Q3FY18). It is also engaged in the manufacturing and selling of engines for industrial and marine applications, spare parts and special alloy castings. ALL has a combined capacity of 1.5 lakh vehicles across six manufacturing facilities — three in Tamil Nadu, and one each in Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand. ALL beat its FY18E M&HCV volume guidance of 5-10% by growing 16% yoy in FY18.

SC refuses out of court settlement for Binani; big blow to UltraTech

Binani Cement Binani Industries has withdrawn its petition seeking termination of insolvency process and permission for an out-of-court settlement with UltraTech Cement, in the Supreme Court, as per Bloomberg. This was post the Supreme Court refusal for any out-of-court settlement.

This is a setback for UltraTech as now Dalmia Bharat stands a clear winner of the Binani Cement assets.

On March 27 2018, the NCLT had suggested an out-of-court settlement between Binani Industries and its committee of creditors. Binani Industries was seeking termination of insolvency proceedings related to Binani Cement and approached UltraTech and had signed an agreement with UltraTech Cement to sell its 98.43% shareholding in the cement business for Rs7,266cr.

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