bailing out: Reliance Petroproducts (RP), a Reliance Group company, will help fish out Indian Polyfibres Ltd. (IPL), from troubled waters, according to an alliance between the two companies. IPL has already given the nod for the proposal, which will now be referred to the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction, financial institutions, banks and operating agencies, shortly. The Reliance group will also synergise IPL's operations in terms of technology, raw materials and other sources as well as upgrade the manufacturing facilities.

new vaccines: SmithKline Beecham Pharma now plans to introduce a Hepatitis-a vaccine, a chicken pox vaccine and a dermatological product to increase its market share. The company, a subsidiary of SmithKline Beecham Plc, UK, expects to contribute Rs 50 crore to the company's turnover. The new products will increase its market share from 1.8 to 2.5 per cent over the next three to four years. The parent company is also developing a dengue vaccine, besides developing combined vaccines to counteract diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, influenza and polio. Harviz, the Hepatitis-A vaccine, will be launched in July.

healthy deal: Sarkar Group, a Calcutta-based homeopathy medicine company, expects to sign a 10-year manufacturing and marketing contract with US-based Marine Biologics Inc (MBI). The deal will fetch the Indian company an additional Rs 50 crore from exports. Gautam Sengupta, Corporate General Manager of the company said they expected the domestic turnover to be Rs 60 crore in 1998-99. Under the agreement, the popular brands, Arnica Plus and Livosin would also be marketed in the US, Canada and Mexico.

talks stalled: Discussions between Nippon Mining & Metal Company and foreign mines over the 1998 copper treatment and refining charges have reached "a stalemate', says Takeshi Kurushima, associate director of Nippon Mining, Japan. The talks reached a deadlock after prices fell sharply at the London Metal Exchange and the Japanese smelter pool stuck to an earlier benchmark deal made in December, 1997. The smelter pool led by Nippon and the Freeport McMoran Copper and Gold Inc, Japan, owners of a majority stake in the largest copper mine at Grasberg, Indonesia, had made deal on a US $102.50 per tonne treatment charge and 10.25 cents per pound as refining charges.

off sale: The US $540 million sale of two Canadian pulp mills to Canada-based Harmac Pacific would be terminated, according to Kimberly-Clark, the US manufacturer of personal care and tissue products. Harmac Pacific had been unable to secure financing for the deal that would have created Canada's largest pulp producer. Harmac had delayed equity offering because of weak pulp markets and had asked Kimberly-Clark for a lower purchase price.

bid to revamp: The Asian Development Bank would provide US $400 million to the ailing Madhya Pradesh Electricity Board (MPEB). S K Dasgupta, chairperson of MPEB says that his organisation would undertake few studies before deciding on the course of restructuring, which is expected to take at least two years. The draft report on the Ninth Plan shows that the average cost of production of MPEB in 1996-97 was Rs 2.05 paise per kilowatt hour (kwh) as compared to average tariff of Rs 1.47 paise per kwh.

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