|HOME | BUSINESS | REPORT|
March 29, 2000
The Rediff Business Special/Neena Haridas
'Uncle Kerry and brother James' from Down Under taste Indian hospitality's thunderAmbanis, Bachchans, Godrejs, Nandas, Gowdas -- Indian High Society's creme de la creme -- all for the Packers.
Kerry and James Packer, the father-son entertainment and media billionaire duo from Australia, had all the reasons to celebrate, after two months of negotiations ending in four joint ventures involving $ 300 million, a venture capital fund worth Rs 11 billion, and a possible tie-up with Subroto Roy-promoted Sahara Television.
Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh had also arranged for all the right ingredients at the Ashoka Hotel in New Delhi to make merry with the Packers: business bigwigs, politicians, entertainers and, yes, pretty women.
"All this to give James, my Australian brother, and Kerry, my Australian uncle, a taste of India. I could not attend James' wedding to Jodi in Australia. But I had promised him that when he comes to India I will offer him the real taste of India," said Singh.
Sure enough, the Packers, Kerry, James and his wife Jodi (former Wonderbra model) got a welcome in Delhi fit for a maharaja: garlanding by caparisoned elephants, camels, trumpets, hordes of people, colours, music, what have you.
In return, James Packer touched Amar Singh's feet and thanked him for the "love and affection that the older brother has given". A 'touched' Amar Singh immediately gifted a model Taj Mahal made of sandalwood to Jodi and James and wished, "My newly-wedded brother -- hopefully this love will last forever."
Earlier this month, the Packers sealed one of the largest corporate deals by picking up 10 per cent stake in India's largest private telecom manufacturer Himachal Futuristic Communications or HFCL for a whopping Rs 10.39 billion.
This is the largest foreign direct investment made by any company in the Indian telecom sector. The investment has been made in the company through Consolidated Press Holdings, holding company of the Kerry Packer empire.
The Packers also formed two other joint ventures with HFCL, one for providing software services and software products, and the other for offering solutions and infrastructure in the business-to-business or B2B e-commerce space.
The Packers also announced the creation of a three-way venture capital fund worth $ 250 million to invest in Indian infotech and biotech companies.
The fund, KVP Ventures, will be created with equal contributions from Packer, the chief of HFCL, Vinay Maloo, and stockbroker Ketan Parekh.
KVP Venture is also likely to acquire a 33 per cent stake in cricketnext.com, a cricket portal launched by Walchand Netsoft Private Limited, and a 10 per cent stake in Omega Portals, which has launched an educational portal.
The fund has also planned to buy 15 per cent Hexaware Technologies stake, which deals in software and e-commerce, and a 10 per cent Radiant Software stake, a software training and consultancy company.
Photographs: Saab Press
|Tell us what you think of this report|
SINGLES | NEWSLINKS | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL BOOKINGS
AIR/RAIL | WEATHER | MILLENNIUM | BROADBAND | E-CARDS | EDUCATION
HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK