Corporate news, corporate developments and various announcements by corporates. Under this we also bring you regulatory developments of corporates and track their financial results including the quarterly as well as annual results. Besides, hiring and appointments by various corporates and enterprises are also featured in this section.


L&T Technology Services Bags Digitalization Contract From ExxonMobil

L&T technology services

L&T Technology Services, the IT and technology arm of L&T or Larsen and Toubro, Monday said it has bagged a multi-million dollar contract from ExxonMobil. The pure-play engineering R&D services company has signed an agreement with ExxonMobil Exploration Company, valued at more than $20 million in the first year.

“Combining our Hydrocarbon heritage, geospatial domain understanding and our digital engineering expertise, we are ideally positioned to help ExxonMobil in this initiative. Our solutions will provide geoscientists accelerated insights into their subsurface data. This in turn maximizes asset utilization, minimizes data preparation time and reduces total cost of ownership,” said Dr Keshab Panda, CEO & Managing Director, L&T Technology Services Limited.

LTTS’ geospatial and digital expertise will enable rapid conversion of historical Geoscience content into the digital domain by leveraging sophisticated automation utilities. This will provide geoscientists with improved data availability, enhancing the speed and efficiency of analysis and evaluation. LTTS will work in collaboration with group company Larsen & Toubro Infotech (LTI) on this engagement.

This deal re-affirms LTTS’ technology investment strategy for its flagship customers and ensures its position as a leading partner among top ER&D service providers by capitalizing on the rapidly changing digital shifts in the Oil and Gas industry.

L&T Technology Services, headquartered in India employs over 12,000 people and serves global customers including 52 Fortune 500 companies through its 16 global delivery centers and 28 global sales offices across the globe.

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Vodafone India Completes Sale of Tower Business To ATC

Vodafone India

Vodafone India, which is inches short of closing its merger deal with Idea Cellular, on Tuesday completed one more step towards that goal. It has completed the sale of its standalone tower business to ATC for Rs 3850 crore.

“Further to the announcement dated 13 November 2017, Vodafone India has completed the sale of its standalone tower business in India to ATC Telecom Infrastructure Private Limited (“ATC”) for an enterprise value of Rs 38.5 billion (€ 478 million),” Vodafone said in a statement.

The company had announced on 13 November 2017 to sale its tower business along with the same of Idea Cellular’s to ATC (American Tower Corp) for Rs 7850 crore of $1.2 billion. Now that Vodafone’s tower business sale is completed, a similar announcement is expected from Idea Cellular in coming times.

Vodafone, in its statement said, Idea Cellular’s tower business sale would be completed in the first half of 2018.

“In the Vodafone India / Idea merger announcement of 20 March 2017, both parties announced their intention to sell their individual standalone tower businesses to strengthen the combined financial position of the merged entity. The merger is expected to complete in the first half of the current calendar year,” the statement added.

The tower sale deal involves sale of more than 20,000 telecom towers, belong to both the operators, to ATC. As part of the transactions, Vodafone and Idea Cellular would get the service level and process efficiency benefits from American Tower, means these two telecom operators would continue to get usual service from these tower sites.

Similarly, American Tower will have certain preferential rights for future new business commencements on its existing portfolio and on the sites being acquired in certain Indian markets.

The Vodafone India -Idea merger remains a mere formality now. All the necessary approvals have been received by the firms. The firms have already announced the new executive team who would be at the helm of affairs of the merged entity.

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HTC Q4 Loss Triples, Company Blames Market Competition


Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC posted a net loss of 9.8 NTD billion (New Taiwan Dollar) in Q4 ended 31 December 2017 from 3.1 NTD billion a year ago, showing a three fold dip. The company blamed various market forces for this financial disturbances.

“Quarterly loss due to market competition, product mix, pricing and recognized inventory write-downs,” HTC said in a statement. The company said as its $1.1 billion asset sales to Google was completed during end of January the related sales numbers were not added to the Q4 results.

“HTC successfully completed the US$1.1 billion business cooperation agreement with Google at the end of January, and the gain related to the transaction will be recognized in Q1’18,” HTC added.

On gross revenue terms, HTC saw a dip of over 29% in Q4 2017. It posted revenues of 15.7 TND billion in Q4 2017 as against 22.2 NTD billion a year ago.

However, the company has reduced its operating expenses to 4.7 TND billion in the reported period from 5.9 NTD billion during the same period last year. In operating expenses the company has done some cost cutting in sales and marketing as well as in general administration. But the firm that is known for its R&D capabilities has retained its expenses on this activities. Its expense on R&D in 2016 was 2.7 NTD billion and in 2017 the firm has spent 2.6 NTD billion on the same.

Going forward, HTC said, it has reviewed its business to optimize teams and processes. Regional markets are brought under single leadership which, HTC feels, would build greater coordination of its smartphone and virtual reality businesses.

On VR side, the company said there has been significant innovation over this period. It has launched the VIVE Focus standalone VR system in China, and the VIVE Pro premium PC VR system in January at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January 2018.

With a clear product focus and a series of measures in place to enable stronger execution, HTC believes it is positioned well for another strong year of innovation at the forefront of its markets

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RIL Acquires Saavn For Rs 805 crore, To Integrate With Jio Music

Saavn New logo

Reliance Industries (RIL) Friday announced that it has acquired digital music provider Saavn for little over Rs 805 crore. The company in a late evening announcement said it acquired 41.1% stake in the music firm in a cash deal.

Further, the company said that it has also entered into an agreement to transfer the music streaming business of RIL -JioMusic – to Saavn India (by way of a slump exchange) in exchange for the issuance of 376,980 equity shares of the music firm to RIL, thereby giving RIL an effective equity stake of 81.7% in the digital music firm.

“The investment and combination of our music assets with Saavn underlines our commitment to further boost the digital ecosystem and provide unlimited digital entertainment services to consumers over a strong uninterrupted network. We are delighted to announce this partnership with Saavn, and believe that their highly experienced management team will be instrumental in expanding Jio-Saavn to an extensive user base, thereby strengthening our leadership position in the Indian streaming market,” said Akash Ambani, Director, Reliance Jio.

The digital music company is engaged in business of digital streaming of music through its mobile apps and website.

Saavn India, a company incorporated in India on 26 August 2011, had revenues of Rs. 42.4 crore, Rs 29.7 crore and Rs. 16.9 crore in the financial years 2016-17, 2015-16 and 2014-15 respectively. Saavn LLC is a limited liability company formed in the State of Delaware, United States and had revenues of US$ 5.72 million and US$ 3.44 million in the calendar years 2016 and 2015 respectively.

The US incorporated entity will become a wholly owned subsidiary of the Indian firm, and an indirect subsidiary of RIL, pursuant to the transaction.

The transaction would accelerate RIL’s journey towards having a bouquet of unparalleled media and entertainment services in its portfolio and provide unmatched experience to the users of its digital services business.

The transactions related to Saavn are expected to be completed before June 30, 2018, subject to completion of conditions precedent, and do not require statutory/ regulatory approvals

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Cognizant Acquires Bolder Healthcare Solutions


Nasdaq listed IT services major Cognizant Monday announced to acquire Bolder Healthcare Solutions, a US based firm having interest in healthcare services. The privately-held firm is provider of revenue cycle management (RCM) solutions to hospitals, physician practices and other specialist healthcare organizations in the United States.

Cognizant did not offer any financial details of the deal. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018, the company said in a statement.

RCM software and processes integrate and automate healthcare administrative and medical data to ensure benefit eligibility and accurate billing and collections, greatly reducing the time between delivery of service to payment received. Louisville, Kentucky-based Bolder Healthcare Solutions is one of the fastest growing RCM companies, serving many of the largest U.S. health systems. Their RCM offerings will further expand Cognizant’s leading healthcare consulting, IT and business process services into more hospitals, hospital outpatient departments, physician practices, and other specialty care providers.

Bolder Healthcare Solutions will enable Cognizant to expand its range of digital solutions across the healthcare value chain and address the large provider segment of the U.S. healthcare market.

“As the healthcare industry continues to undergo significant transformation to a value-based care model, digital RCM services and solutions remove complexity and allow providers to streamline their operations,” said Kaushik Bhaumik, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Healthcare at Cognizant.

Michael Shea, CEO of Bolder Healthcare Solutions, said, “By joining forces with Cognizant, we will have many new tools that will be a catalyst for future growth. The increased capabilities will allow Bolder to continue to be on the cutting edge of provider RCM and this forward looking combination will create new opportunities for Cognizant in the hospital provider, specialty physician, and other professional markets. We are bringing together an impressive level of expertise, best-in-class processes and technologies to help providers meet the many challenges they face.”

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Nokia Acquires Unium To Enhance Home Wi-Fi Offerings


Nokia today announced plans to acquire Unium, a US-based software company that specializes in solving complex wireless networking problems for use in mission-critical and residential Wi-Fi applications.

The privately held WiFi company was founded in 2002 and is located in Seattle, Washington and the transaction is expected to close in Q1 2018, Nokia said in a statement.

The acquired firm’s software and intelligent mesh wireless technology complements and strengthens Nokia’s end-to-end, whole-home Wi-Fi solution and supports Nokia’s strategic objective of solving Wi-Fi problems in the home. Unium will bring Nokia field-proven, carrier-grade mesh technology that helps maximize in-home wireless networking speeds and ensures quality of experience across the entire home. Its underlying technology is already tested and used in a number of applications where high availability, performance and resilience is a must.

The WiFi firm looks at the network, providing a fast, frustration-free and reliable Wi-Fi experience that simply works. Its Wi-Fi home solution is plug & play and highly intuitive. New devices can easily connect to the Wi-Fi network without degrading connectivity. Fast roaming gives consumers the ability to walk around the home without service interruptions.

Unium’s software offers intelligent mesh, band steering, fast roaming and a choice of Wi-Fi or Ethernet backhaul. It measures wireless performance in real time, and dynamically adjusts the network to improve the user’s coverage and capacity. Unium’s Wi-Fi software learns the specific capabilities and performance of each device (phone, tablet, etc.) so it can optimize each connection and provide a tailored customer experience. The intelligent mesh network enables gigabit-plus capacity throughout the home.

“Nokia and Unium are ready to unlock the full potential of the connected home, creating a residential network that understands the people, devices and applications it serves. Together, they can deliver gigabit speeds not only to the home, but also throughout the home,” the Finnish firm added.

Federico Guillén, president of Nokia’s Fixed Networks business group, said: “We look forward to having the Unium team join us. The home networking market is booming and whole-home Wi-Fi is a key enabler for this. Today’s Wi-Fi solutions still have serious issues with sticky clients, interference, coverage gaps and capacity issues. With Unium inside, our Nokia Wi-Fi solution will deliver an unmatched user experience, going beyond what standard mesh Wi-Fi solutions deliver today.”

Martha Bejar, CEO at Unium added: “Nokia is a global leader in creating customer-centric solutions and is at the heart of our connected world. The Unium team is excited to join Nokia and drive a unique and innovative customer experience through our intelligent Wi-Fi solution, making every customer-touch better.”

A demo of Unium software as part of Nokia’s whole-home Wi-Fi demo will be shown at Mobile World Congress 2018.

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Idea Raises Rs 3250 Crore Through Preferential Shares


Idea Cellular on Monday said it has raised Rs 3250 crore by allotting preferential shares to its promoters the Aditya Birla Group. The raised capital will be used to repay debt.

In early January this year Idea had announced that the company is planning to raise a total of Rs 6750 crore – Rs 3250 from allocating preferential shares and Rs 3500 crore from further Preferential Issue, Qualified Institutional Placement (QIP) or Rights Issue. The same was approved by  Idea’s shareholders in the Extraordinary General
Meeting held on 30th January, 2018 resulting to this allotment of shares.

The company issued 326.6 million shares in this manner at a price of Rs 99.50 per share to promoters including Birla TMT Holdings Private Limited / Elaine Investments Pte. Ltd. (Singapore) / Oriana Investments Pte. Ltd. (Singapore) / Surya Kiran Investments Pte. Ltd. (Singapore).

Post this preferential allotment, the share holding of the promoter group in Idea rose to 47.2% from 42.4%.

“This equity infusion reiterates the Group’s commitment towards the telecom business and confidence in its growth prospects. Idea is in the process of bringing a world class 4G network to villages, towns and cities across India that will contribute to the transition of the Indian populace towards a digital lifestyle. With the planned fund raise combined with the recently announced sale of Idea’s towers and potential monetization of the Indus stake, the Company will be better capitalized to participate in the growth opportunities offered by the sector,” said Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman, Aditya Birla Group.

The equity infusion by the Promoter Group of Rs. 3,250 Crore, along with the proposed further capital raise of up to Rs. 3,500 Crore, will reduce Idea’s net-debt and as a result Vodafone’s net-debt contribution to the merged entity will also be reduced by an equivalent amount.

Additionally, the recently announced sale of Idea’s and Vodafone India’s standalone towers to American Tower Corporation for an aggregate enterprise value of Rs. 7,850 Crore and the potential monetization of Idea’s 11.15% stake in Indus Towers, will further augment the long term capital resources of the Company.

“These proceeds will significantly strengthen the balance sheet of the merged entity (Idea and Vodafone India) creating a resilient entity for the future,” said the company in a statement.

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Qualcomm Again Rejects Broadcom’s $150 Bn Acquisition Offer


As expected, Qualcomm on Thursday rejected the revised offer from Broadcom to acquire the Paul Jacobs led technology firm for $150 billion, saying the proposal is still undervalued.

“Qualcomm’s Board of Directors has unanimously rejected the revised non-binding, unsolicited proposal by Broadcom Limited to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Qualcomm for $82.00 per share ($60.00 in cash and $22.00 in Broadcom stock), which Broadcom announced on February 5, 2018,” the firm said in a statement.

Broadcom on February 5 had sent a revised offer to the San Diego based chipmaker with $82 per share valuation after its first offer of $70 per share was rejected in November 2017. In the new offer Broadcom, besides a raised valuation, had also invited Qualcomm Chairman Paul Jacobs to join the board of the new entity.

The Qualcomm Board, assisted by its financial and legal advisors, determined that the Broadcom proposal materially undervalues the chipmaker and falls well short of the firm regulatory commitment the Board would demand given the significant downside risk of a failed transaction.

Though Qualcomm has rejected the fresh offer there are chances the acquisition talk would still go on as the company has offered to meet Broadcom members to discuss on the same.

“The Board has unanimously determined that your amended offer materially undervalues Qualcomm and falls well short of the firm regulatory commitment the Board would demand given the significant downside risk of a failed transaction. However, the Board is committed to exploring all options for maximizing shareholder value, and so we would be prepared to meet with you to allow you to explain how you would attempt to bridge these gaps in both value and deal certainty and to better understand the significant issues that remain unaddressed in your proposal,” Qualcomm Chairman Paul Jacobs wrote in a letter.

In the letter addressed to Broadcom CEO Hock Tan, Jacobs wrote that his company will reach out to the former to schedule a metting.

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Cognizant To Invest $100 Mn In Digital Education In US


Cognizant Wednesday said it will invest $100 million in upgrading technology education in the US. The software firm announced the formation of a new non-profit foundation to support STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and digital education and skills initiatives for U.S. workers and students. The foundation will be established with an initial grant of $100 million.

As a rapidly growing global company providing consulting, digital, technology and business process services, Cognizant is one of the largest technology employers in America. In 2017, Cognizant added more than 6,000 U.S. workers and plans to grow its U.S workforce by at least an additional 25,000 over the next five years.

The grant to the new foundation is a result of anticipated benefits due to recent changes in U.S. tax laws. The new foundation will focus on funding education and skills programs in multiple cities and states to help improve opportunities for U.S. workers and students. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2020 there will be a 1.4-million-person gap between software development jobs and qualified applicants to fill these positions in the U.S.

“As the digital economy expands rapidly and changes the way businesses, organizations and governments operate, we believe it should create opportunities for all Americans,” said Cognizant Chief Executive Officer Francisco D’Souza. “Unfortunately, because of a very real skills gap, there are far more open jobs for technical work than there are trained workers to fill them. A recent Cognizant Center for the Future of Work report on 21 Jobs of the Future identifies artificial intelligence, virtual reality, big data and other technologies as the new tools of the trade. The Cognizant U.S. Foundation will directly address the existing technology skills gap through innovative programs focused on educating a wide range of Americans and preparing them to thrive in the digital era.”

The Cognizant U.S. Foundation, which will be organized as a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, will fund STEM education and skills programs, public-private partnerships and other initiatives designed for high school graduates, community college and college students, military veterans and others in the workforce looking to obtain specialized technical skills for digital technology jobs. The foundation will help prepare American workers and students for roles in the digital economy and will build on Cognizant’s global commitment to training technology professionals, reskilling and upskilling workers, and giving back to local communities.

Rajeev Mehta, Cognizant’s President, said, “As a major U.S. technology company and employer with nearly 60 U.S. facilities and clients in 49 states, we have insights into the needs of communities across the country as they seek to fully join the digital economy. In our work with clients, we see every day the growing shortage of skilled technology workers and believe the education efforts of the Cognizant U.S. Foundation will be good for American workers and students, our communities, and the overall American economy.”

To support its growth, Cognizant currently has recruiting, training and reskilling efforts underway in several American cities where it operates, including the Bronx, New York; Des Moines, Iowa; and Tampa, Florida. The company has plans to expand its training programs to Phoenix, Arizona; Dallas, Texas; and Charlotte, North Carolina in the near future. The Cognizant U.S. Foundation will support a broad range of further education and skills initiatives.



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Broadcom Raises Qualcomm Offer To $150 Bn, Asks Paul Jacobs To Join Board


In one of the most hostile takeover bids in recent times, Broadcom has sent a revised offer of $150 billion to acquire Qualcomm. The earlier offer was valued at $130 billion at $60 per Qualcomm share in cash and $10 for each Broadcom share. However, in the revised offer Broadcom has kept the cash offer intact but increased its share offering to $22, making the total value as $82 per share.

Along with the new offer Broadcom has also offered to take two of Qualcomm’s directors on its board. It, specifically, has asked Qualcomm Chairman Paul Jacobs to join the combined board.

It can be recalled that in November 2017 Broadcom had sent Qualcomm an acquisition offer of $130 billion which was unanimously rejected the Qualcomm board. It was expected that the offer would be revised. Even Paul Jacobs appeared to have hinted at a better offer as he had said the first offer undervalues Qualcomm.

After the rejection, Broadcom has sweetened the offer in many aspects.

The new offer is 50% higher to Qualcomm’s share price on November 2, 2017, or when the first offer was made and 24% higher than its recent share price of $66.

The new bid also includes a ‘ticking fee’ that offers an increase in cash consideration payable to Qualcomm if the transaction is not completed withinn a year of signing the agreement. Besides, the semiconductor firm alsso said t is ready to pay a reverse termination fee if the deal failes to get the required regulatory approvals.

Qualcomm on Monday admitted of receiving such an offer from the other semiconductor firm.

“This proposal to acquire Qualcomm is extremely compelling compared to any other alternative available to Qualcomm, with or without the acquisition of NXP, and we believe any responsible board would engage with us, without further delay, to turn this proposal into an executed definitive agreement. We continue to hope you choose to engage with us for the benefit of your stockholders. However, we will withdraw this proposal and cease our pursuit of Qualcomm immediately following your upcoming annual meeting unless we have entered into a definitive agreement or the Broadcom-nominated slate is elected,” Broadcom CEO Hock Tan wrote in a letter to Qualcomm.

Broadcom says its offer to takeover Qualcomm is irrespective of the later’s acquisition of NXP.

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