In one swift move, Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries has acquired majority interest in India’s two largest cable TV and broadband companies — Hathway Cable & Datacom and DEN Networks — for a total sum of ₹ 5,230 crore, The Economic Times reported. Reliance Industries (RIL) on Wednesday said it will invest ₹ 2,940 crore in Hathway for 51.3% stake via a preferential issue of shares at a share price of ₹ 32.35 apiece. Mint reported on Wednesday that not only will the deal increase Reliance’s already massive reach, but will also reduce the cost of reaching out to customers as last mile capex will not be incurred by Reliance Jio alone. Read more here.
ArcelorMittal to clear $1 billion dues to bid for Essar Steel
ArcelorMittal will pay ₹ 7,469 crore to the financial creditors of Uttam Galva Steels Ltd and KSS Petron Pvt. Ltd to become eligible to bid for bankrupt Essar Steel Ltd, Mint reported. The announcement on Wednesday by the Luxembourg-based steelmaker comes days before the Supreme Court-set deadline, which expires this weekend, to comply with its eligibility requirement. ArcelorMittal will pay ₹ 7,469 crore to the financial creditors of Uttam Galva Steels Ltd and KSS Petron Pvt. Ltd to become eligible to bid for bankrupt Essar Steel Ltd. The announcement on Wednesday by the Luxembourg-based steelmaker comes days before the Supreme Court-set deadline, which expires this weekend, to comply with its eligibility requirement. The court allowed this exception to prevent Essar Steel, a much sought-after asset, from going into liquidation where the recoverable value for lenders would be much lower. Read more here.
Canada’s OMERS Infra joins race for IL&FS road assets
OMERS Infrastructure Management, Inc., the infrastructure investment manager of OMERS, one of Canada’s largest pension funds, is the latest entrant in race to acquire road assets of debt ridden Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS), The Economic Times reported. Mint reported earlier this week, on Monday, that private equity giant KKR evaluating infrastructure sector buyouts, and is eyeing some of the road assets of beleaguered IL&FS Transportation Networks Ltd (ITNL). Other global investors who have evinced interest for IL&FS assets include I Squared Capital-backed Cube Highways and Italian major Atlantia, the ET report said. IL&FS, struggling with a debt of ₹ 91,000 crore, has 28 build-operate-transfer (BOT) projects under the listed IL&FS Transportation Networks (ITNL). If the deal materializes, it would be the debut deal of The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) in Indian infrastructure space. Early this year, Omers invested $260 million in largest mortgage lender HDFC Ltd through a preferential share sale. Read more here.
KKR in talks to buy Aadhaar Housing Finance
Private equity fund KKR and Co. is in talks to acquire a controlling stake in Aadhar Housing Finance Ltd, Mint reported, citing two people aware of the matter. The talks are at an exploratory stage and may result in KKR taking control of the affordable housing financier. Aadhar Housing Finance is a unit of Wadhawan Global Capital (WGC) which also controls Dewan Housing Finance Co. Ltd (DHFL). Established in 2011, Aadhar Housing has operations in 13 states, including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand and Bihar. It provides loans up to ₹ 25 lakh to borrowers with income levels between ₹ 60,000 and ₹ 6 lakh per annum. The company reported assets under management of nearly ₹ 7,966 crore as on 31 March. Read more here.
Treebo and FabHotels initiate merger talks
Budget hotel brands Treebo and FabHotels have initiated merger talks, as investor appetite to fund hotel startups is waning following the massive funding round by market leader Oyo Rooms, Mint reported. Oyo, India’s largest and fastest-growing hotel chain, had secured $800 million from the SoftBank Vision Fund last month. The talks between Treebo, run by Ruptub Solutions Pvt. Ltd, and Casa2 Stays Pvt. Ltd-owned FabHotels are at an early stage, so it is difficult to say whether the deal will go through or not. Treebo and FabHotels have been trying to raise fresh capital, but potential investors have so far shied away from putting money into companies competing with SoftBank-backed Oyo. Read more here.
IvyCap to raise angel fund of up to ₹ 60 crore to bet on early stage startups
IvyCap Ventures, the largest home-grown venture capital fund in India, has launched an angel fund as it looks to increase its bet on early stage startups. IvyCap is targeting a corpus of up to ₹ 60 crore for the fund that will invest only in seed and pre-series A rounds. A part of the corpus will also be deployed in accelerating start-ups through collaborations with global accelerators. Gupta expects the fund to be raised in the next two-three months. The angel fund will see IvyCap take more risky bets than its earlier funds. Read more here.