In other news, Vedanta is looking to sell a minority stake in Cairn India to a strategic partner as the diversified oil-to-metals conglomerate looks to cut its mammoth $6.6 billion ( ₹46,500 crore) debt and revive cash flows amid economic uncertainty.
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Adani Capital acquires Essel Finance’s MSME lending biz
Adani Capital Pvt. Ltd, the non-banking financial company (NBFC) arm of Adani Group focused on small and micro-entrepreneurs, has acquired Essel Finance’s micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) loan business, Mint reported. Through the acquisition, Adani Capital has secured a loan book of around ₹145 crore, operating out of 10 cities, comprising approximately 1,100 customers and 40 employees. This is the second asset of debt-laden Subash Chandra group that Adani has acquired. In August 2019, Essel Group had announced its intention to sell 205 megawatts (MWs) of its operational solar energy assets to Adani Green Energy Ltd at an enterprise value of ₹1,300 crore. The lender, which primarily operates in western India, is aiming to gradually expand its geographic presence in central and east India.
Skylo raises $103 million in round led by SoftBank
Internet of Things (IoT) solutions firm Skylo Technologies, co-founded by Indian-origin entrepreneur Parthsarathi Trivedi, has raised $103 million in a Series B round led by SoftBank Group, Mint reported. The round also saw the participation of existing investors. Skylo, which was founded in 2017 by Trivedi, Andrew Nuttall and Andrew Kalman, has so far secured $116 million. It has offices in San Mateo, Bengaluru and Tel Aviv. The California-based firm had raised a $13-million Series A round in December 2017, which was co-led by DCM and Innovation Endeavors, besides Moore Strategic Ventures. It offers real-time IoT connectivity to millions of machines, sensors and devices across industries, including agriculture, fishing, railways, logistics and utilities infrastructure. The Skylo Network is hosted on existing geostationary satellites. The company leverages the cellular Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) protocol via satellite, making it possible to instantly connect billions of sensors on objects and machines in remote areas.
The Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta is looking to sell a minority stake in Cairn India to a strategic partner as the diversified oil-to-metals conglomerate looks to cut its mammoth $6.6 billion ( ₹46,500 crore) debt and revive cash flows amid economic uncertainty, The Economic Times reported. Cairn is the country’s largest private sector oil and gas producer accounting for nearly a quarter of India’s total domestic crude oil production and Vedanta may look to dilute up to 25% to raise a minimum of $1.5-2 billion ( ₹10,500-14,100) through this “value unlocking" exercise. Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Barclays have been mandated to run a formal process. Management meetings have already begun with prospective partners at various places including London, where Agarwal is based. Talks are at an early stage and may not result in a deal.
Global payments technology giant Mastercard is in talks to invest in India’s largest point-of-sale (PoS) solutions provider Pine Labs as part of a $300 million financing round, The Economic Times reported citing three people aware of the development. The transaction, which would value the Singapore and Noida-based firm at $1.2-1.5 billion, will likely involve a mix of primary and secondary shares and give Mastercard a firm footing in the fast-growing merchant acquiring segment. Venture capital fund Sequoia Capital, the largest stakeholder, could make a partial exit as Pine Labs vaults into the unicorn club of privately-held tech firms with valuation of $1 billion or more. Sequoia has been invested in Pine Labs since 2009 and holds an estimated 68% stake. It could offload 15-25% to the incoming investor, said the people cited above. People familiar with the fundraising talks said other investors like Advent Capital may join Mastercard in the latest round. The fundraise, which could close over the next few weeks, will be the first by Pine Labs since it raised $125 million in equity financing in 2018 led by the likes of Temasek and US-based online payments company PayPal, valuing it at $800 million.
Fairfax, Edelweiss, Kotak in race to buy 1% stake in NSE
India’s largest lender, State Bank of India (SBI), received bids from Prem Watsa’s Fairfax, Edelweiss Securities and Kotak Securities among others to buy 1% stake in National Stock Exchange (NSE), The Economic Times reported citing three people aware of the development. At least 13 bidders have submitted bids to buy up to 50 lakh unlisted shares of the bourse for a deal value ranging from ₹460 crore to ₹530 crore. Watsa’s Fairfax submitted a bid of ₹500 crore to buy all the 50 lakh shares up for sale. The bank has received demand for at least 2 crore shares with other investors submitting bids for a part of the shares up for sale. The bidding price is estimated to be in the range of ₹960-1030 per share. The state-owned lender is said to be unwilling to sell the shares at a price lower than ₹1,000 apiece. National Stock Exchange, the third Indian bourse that would go public, has seen its market value rise 7% in the past six months with a valuation of ₹50,000 crore in the grey market. In the run-up to its initial public offering (IPO), SBI, United India Insurance, Union Bank of India and Indian Bank are selling their stake with expectations that the IPO could value the bourse at ₹1,200 per share at a valuation of ₹60,000 crore.
True North buys gynaecology brands from Glenmark Unit
Integrace, a portfolio company of private equity firm True North, has agreed to buy a portfolio of brands from the gynaecology division of Glenmark Pharmaceuticals for a consideration of ₹115 crore, The Economic Times reported. This new addition includes established brands such as Dubagest, Mumfer, Fenza and Milical along with the sales and marketing team of G&G division. The brands are well-established in their respective categories and have a strong equity with the gynaecologist fraternity, the companies said in an exchange notification. The transaction is expected to close by March 31, the statement said. The gynaecology market is currently estimated at ₹12,500 crore. The brands of G&G division are currently operating in just about 20% of the market and there are some fast-growing spaces that are still available for entry. In October 2018, Integrace entered the orthopaedic business by partnering with the orthopaedic division at Glenmark.