Thursday, January 31, 2008

Spice May Raise Dubai Listing; Posturing For a Pan-India License?

By Rafat Ali – Friday, 25 January 2008
Spice, who operates in India via a JV with Telekom Malaysia, which holds 39.2% stake, plans to raise $500 million through a Dubai IPO. According to
this Bloomberg report, this would make it the first Indian company to sell shares in the Middle East. They plan to shed off 20 percent in the second half of 2009. Funds raised will be used to sell handsets and wireless services including ringtones, mobile entertainment news and also for M&A.
Financial products that adhere to
Islamic laws raised $250 billion globally as of December. The Modi’s, who hold 40% stake, plan to use the money to expand from Iran to Indonesia. For those interested in switching jobs, Spice plans to hire 8,000 employees this year, bringing the total to 20,000.
Modi also adds that Vodafone (NYSE: VOD), AT&T, Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and China Mobile had offered to buy Spice. The Modi’s were not open to the offer since criteria for most was 51%. All the three operators refused to comment on Modi’s quotes.
Spice also plans to list its VAS and retail unit, Cellebrum and Hotspot respectively, in May or June this year on the Singapore and Bombay stock exchange.
Spice has a market value of $748.8 million and operates in 2 of 23 telecom zones in India. We had previously covered Spice moving TDSAT on the DoT’s refusal to give it a pan-India license, reason being, not enough networth.
The agency report gives a valuation of $500 million for 20% stake of the company. Giving the company a valuation of $2.5 billion. Looks like the Modi’s are building a case for a pan India license by raising networth and building out their network to scale against Bharti and Vodafone.

India's Spice Plans $500 Million IPO, First in Dubai (Update)

By Andrea Tan; 23 January 2008 (Bloomberg)
Spice Corp., the Indian group that operates a mobile-phone carrier with Telekom Malaysia Bhd., plans to seek $500 million in an initial public offering in Dubai, the first Indian company to sell shares in the Middle East.
Spice will sell a 20 percent stake in the second half of next year to raise funds to invest across Asia, Chairman Bhupendra Kumar Modi said.
Modi said he needs funds to sell handsets and wireless services including ring tones and mobile entertainment news, and to acquire companies. Demand for financial products that comply with Islamic law have attracted more than $250 billion globally, rising 24 percent annually over five years, Malayan Banking Bhd. said in December.
``We're attractive to Islamic funds, that's a new kind of money,'' Modi, 59, said. ``We want to expand from I to I, Iran to Indonesia.''
Spice plans to hire 8,000 workers this year, boosting the number of employees to 20,000, he said.
KPMG International, Spice's auditors, are preparing for the share sale, he said.
Spice Communications Ltd. offers services in two regions in India. The company, 39 percent held by Telekom Malaysia, raised 5.2 billion rupees ($132 million) in an IPO last year.
Modi said Vodafone Group Plc, AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and China Mobile Ltd. had offered to buy Spice Communications. Modi's family holds a 41 percent stake in the wireless operator.
``We're not open to takeovers'' for Spice Communications, Modi said. ``Some companies have a criteria that they must own 51 percent and we don't like those companies, we don't want to sell out.'' Vodafone spokesman Simon Gordon said the Newbury, England- based company hasn't made an offer for Spice. `There is no such thing,'' Rainie Lei, a spokeswoman at China Mobile Ltd., said by telephone.
Greg Brutus, a regional spokesman for AT&T, also refused to comment in an e-mail.
The article can also be referred to at:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601080&sid=aTeaTWOaz_Ps&refer=asia

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Spice to list Cellebrum by June

May list Hot Spot by year-end
Agencies Singapore
22 January 2008


Spice plans to list its VAS company Cellebrum in the Bombay and Singapore Exchanges by May or June and subsequently its mobile handset retail unit, Hot spot by year-end.

“At the end of 2008, we will have four listed entities," Bhupendra Kumar Modi, Spice''s chief executive is reported to have said. "Cellebrum has been valued at around $500 million, but we will put it to the market at a lower price to benefit the shareholders," he added.


Link of the story:

Spice plans Dubai, Singapore listing

January 21, 2008
By Melanie Lee in Reuters


SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Indian conglomerate Spice plans to list on the Dubai or Singapore stock exchanges in 2010, and to raise about $100 million from an initial public offering of its mobile services unit in May or June, its chief executive said.
Spice, which owns telecommunications firm Spice Communications and Spice Mobiles, is looking to list its mobile value-added services firm, Cellebrum, in Bombay and Singapore, and will also list its mobile retail unit Hot Spot, by year end.
"At the end of 2008, we will have four listed entities," Bhupendra Kumar Modi, Spice's chief executive, told Reuters in an interview on Monday.
According to Modi, Cellebrum has been valued at around $500 million, but will be offered to the market at a lower price to benefit shareholders.
Spice Corp, which has 12 subsidaries, will list the main holding company in two years.
"Initially, we want to list all our companies," Modi said.
Spice Communications, which has a stock market value of $748.8 million, competes with the telco giants Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications in India.
Operating in only two out of India's 23 telecom zones, it also aims to double its subscriber base to at least eight million by 2008.
The firm, 39 percent-owned by Telekom Malaysia, is also in talks with local telecommunications firms Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. and StarHub Ltd. to provide value-added mobile services.
"We are talking to SingTel and StarHub to see whether we can provide these services," Modi said, but declined to give details of the contract size.
Modi said the firm has already secured a contract with MobileOne Ltd. to provide these services on a revenue-sharing basis. The firm plans to announce details at a conference held in Singapore, aimed at fostering business ties between India and Singapore.

Link of the story:
http://in.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idINIndia-31502020080121

Spice plans $100 mn mobile services IPO

Spice is looking to list its mobile value-added services firm, Cellebrum, on the Bombay and Singapore stock exchanges.

Singapore: Indian conglomerate Spice will list its mobile services unit in May or June this year in Singapore and Bombay in an initial public offering (IPO) worth $100 million, its chief executive said on Monday.
Spice, which owns telecommunications firm Spice Communications and Spice Mobiles, is looking to list its mobile value-added services firm, Cellebrum, on the Bombay and Singapore stock exchanges. It will also list its mobile retail unit, Hot Spot, at year-end.
“At the end of 2008, we will have four listed entities,” Bhupendra Kumar Modi, Spice’s chief executive, told Reuters in an interview. He declined to reveal pricing range for the two IPOs.
“Cellebrum has been valued at around $500 million, but we will put it to the market at a lower price to benefit the shareholders,” he said.
Spice Communications, which has a stock market value of $748.8 million, competes with the telco giants Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications in India.
Operating in only two out of India’s 23 telecom zones, it also aims to double its subscriber base to at least eight million by 2008.


Link of the story:

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Mottled Dawn

By Saadat Hasan Manto


50 stories; that bring you face-to-face with an era and the suffering of it’s people (not just characters) who faced the worst in the aftermath of 1947 India and Pakistan partition. The stories haunt you at one level and on the other hand make you believe in the fact that both good/bad human traits come forth in the worst of circumstances.
Written by one of the best short-story writer Saadat Hasan Manto; Mottled Dawn is one of the most powerful and vivid image of what followed after the historical partition—it has the power to shake you to your core.

Toba Tek Singh, The Assignment, and other such unforgettable stories make it a must read and must have book. The writer brings alive the most heart rendering events in the history of the subcontinent.

Manto has a knack to be powerful with simple words; he takes you on a journey were you easily slip into his actors fear, dread, happiness etc. The great impact of this partition is depicted in true in your face kind of writing that definitely will leave you thinking. Even today his stories are highly relevant by giving away any more I would be doing injustice to Manto’s writing…go ahead and read this fabulous collection of stories and change the way you perceive the WORLD forever! Imaginary so commanding that it won’t let you FORGET.

Critics/newspapers say:
— "Manto is master storyteller." —Khushwant Singh
"There is still no literary rival to Manto… (And) as communalism, religious intolerance and enmity between India and Pakistan continue to grow; his stories are still highly relevant." —Independent
— "The undisputed master of the modern Indian short story".
—Salman Rushdie
— "Manto’s irony and humanity raise him on par with Gogol." —Anita Desai

Thursday, January 3, 2008

2008—A YEAR of GTD

New Year resolutions—I know many of you will cringe inwards at the very mention of NY-resolutions (totally clich├ęd). The point here is that we all do make resolutions at some point or another in our life; some stick by them and others break them; the year 2008 should be no different—let’s make GTD (getting things done) our aim..
Whether you admit to your belief in resolutions or not is of no significance—what is important is to have at least 1 resolution (professional or personal) and to stick by IT.
Take complete control of your resolutions/life/goals/home etc. with David Allen’s Getting Things Done”. This fabulous book offers you the opportunity to turn your life around (90 degrees) and that too for the better!
Allen in his book reinforces the dictum that, “In today's world, yesterday's methods just don't work”.
In his masterpice of "life management" book he shares some great methods for stress-free performance. His agenda is simple: our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax. Only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organised can we achieve effective productivity and unleash our creative potential.
Key POINTS to remember
Apply the "do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it" rule to get your in-box to empty
Reassess goals and stay focused in changing situations
Plan projects as well as get them unstuck
Overcome feelings of confusion, anxiety, and being overwhelmed
Feel-fine about what you're not doing


Allen's 2-Minute Rule: if there's anything you absolutely must do that you can do right now in two minutes or less, then do it now, thus freeing up your time and mind tenfold over the long term.
A great rule to abide by…so go and buy the book it can help you organise your chaotic life.
More details regarding this book can be collected from Allen’s official website: ttp://www.davidco.com/.
Wishing all a PRODUCTIVE & HAPPY 2008!