Deals Buzz: ICICI Bank, other lenders sue Essar for default in US project

In other news, Baring PE Asia MD Bala Naidu quits and AU Financiers finalizes investment banks to manage IPO process


The move by lndian lenders is expected to cast a shadow on the recent $13 billion sale of Essar Oil to a consortium of Rosneft, Trafigura and UCP Partners. Photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint
The move by lndian lenders is expected to cast a shadow on the recent $13 billion sale of Essar Oil to a consortium of Rosneft, Trafigura and UCP Partners. Photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint

Mumbai: Mint brings to you your daily dose of top deals reported by newsrooms across the country.

AU Financiers finalizes investment banks to manage IPO process

AU Financiers Ltd, a Jaipur-based non-banking financial company, has finalized four investment bankers to manage its proposed share sale slated for early next year, three people with knowledge of the matter said, on the condition of anonymity.

“The bankers include ICICI Securities, Citibank, Kotak Investment Banking and Motilal Oswal,” said one of the three persons.

“They are targeting it (share sale) in the first half of 2017,” said the second person.

The company, one of the 10 firms to receive Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) in-principle approval to start a small finance bank, plans to sell shares in a pure offer-for-sale (OFS), which will take place after it becomes a small finance bank by February, AU Financiers managing director Sanjay Agarwal said in an interview in September. Read more

Baring PE Asia MD Bala Naidu quits, to launch own fund

Baring Private Equity Asia managing director Lakshmiah Balachandra Naidu has quit the buyout firm to set up his own private equity (PE) fund, two persons aware of the development said, on the condition of anonymity.

Naidu, known as Bala Naidu in PE circles, joined Baring PE Asia in 2013, and was heading its India operations along with Jimmy Mahtani, also a managing director at the PE firm.

Naidu put in his papers in the second week of November, the first of the two persons cited above said.

Baring PE Asia is one of the largest Asia-focused alternative asset management firms with $10 billion worth assets under management. Read more

De Beers invests $5 million to expand Surat diamond grading unit

De Beers, a member of the Anglo American group, has invested about $5 million for expansion of its diamond grading and testing centre at Surat in Gujarat, a top executive of the company said in Tuesday.

The development comes after the group invested around $10 million in 2015 to set up the facility which has the capacity to process over $500 million of diamonds per annum.

The facility represents a world-leading resource for India’s diamond cutting and polishing sector, providing polished diamond grading services, diamond verification services and melee (small diamond) testing and screening, International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research president Jonathan Kendall said.

De Beers hopes to launch the Melee Testing Service and a new Melee Grading Service next year, he said, adding that the company also hopes to invest more in India as it sees India and China as strong markets. Read more

True Global Ventures’s Stojanovic to rope in angel investors from India

Swedish angel investor Dusan Stojanovic, the founder of True Global Ventures (TGV), is holding discussions with Mumbai Angels and Indian Angel Network (IAN) to bring on board angel investors as partners in his early-stage investment firm, The Economic Times reported.

TGV is an international, early-stage vehicle formed by the world’s leading technology entrepreneurs-turned angel-investors. Stojanovic is best known for his three exits in one week in 2012. He is in India on a maiden visit to rope in angel investors for cross-border investments.

“There are quite a few Indian angels right now, which wasn’t the case in 2010. I do see quite a lot in the country that do qualify,” he said. Read more

JM Financial arm completes stake buy in India Home Loan

JM Financial Products Ltd, a subsidiary of Nimesh Kampani-led JM Financial, has completed acquisition of 24.5% equity stake in India Home Loan (IHL) on a preferential allotment basis.

The company will transfer the entire equity stake in IHL to a fund/trust to be established and managed or sponsored by JM Financial Investment Managers Ltd, the asset management company for alternative asset business in the group, it said in a regulatory filing.

IHL had said a day before the announcement that JM Financial group will buy over 17% stake in IHL from two of its promoters, in addition to 1,505,650 share allotment on a preferential basis from the company.

Vini Cosmetics promoter Darshan Patel picks up stake in feminine healthcare start-up

Darshan Patel, founder of Paras Pharma and Vini Cosmetics, has acquired a strategic 51% stake in Soothe Healthcare, a feminine hygiene start-up that manufactures sanitary napkins and diapers under the brand Paree, The Times of India reported, citing sources.

Patel and his family, famous for having built popular brands like Krack cream and Dermicool powder with the help of deep consumer insights, will also get three board seats in lieu of the investment in the Noida-based company.

Patel is expected to ride on this acquisition for a big push into the feminine hygiene market. Read more

ICICI Bank-led Indian lenders sue Essar for default in US project

ICICI Bank Ltd-led group of lenders to Essar Group has initiated proceedings against the group for delays and cost overruns in its ambitious US project, which is being executed by Essar Steel Minnesota LLC (ESML), The Economic Times reported.

Along with the bid by hedge fund Davidson Kempner Capital Management (DK Partners) to withdraw a loan facility, the move by lndian lenders is expected to cast a shadow on the recent $13 billion sale of Essar Oil to a consortium of Rosneft, Trafigura and UCP Partners.

With ESML defaulting on a $530 million loan syndicated by a clutch of Indian banks, ICICI Bank has also invoked corporate guarantees given by Essar’s offshore group holding company Essar Global Fund Ltd (EGFL) as security against money borrowed for the completion of the project, the report said. Read more

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