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APSEZ to tap dollar bonds market again in Q1 of 2020

After tapping the dollar bond market twice in 2019, Gautam Adani’s ports business Adani Ports and Special Economic Zones is preparing for a fresh issue in the new year, Mint reported citing two people aware of the development. In July, Adani Ports raised $650 million to buy back bonds of a similar amount maturing in 2020, and in June, it raised $750 million through a separate bond sale. The firm has now started working on another dollar bond issuance, which is likely to hit the market as early as the first quarter of calendar year 2020. The funds will be used for capital expenditure, unlike the previous two rounds, which were aimed at refinancing existing foreign and domestic debt of the ports operator. The port operator has lined up significant expansion plans till financial year 2025, which will see the company expand its cargo handling capacity at four of its ports—Mundra, Hazira, Dhamra and Kattupalli—grow from a collective capacity of 345 million tonnes to about 477 million tonnes, according an October investor presentation by the company. It is also developing a container terminal port in Myanmar and several multimodal logistics parks. Adani Ports has outlined a capex plan of approximately 17,500 crore for these expansions.

BRICS’ NDB pledges $100 million to NIIF’s Fund of Funds

New Development Bank (NDB), earlier known as the BRICS Development Bank, has committed $100 million to India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund’s (NIIF) Fund of Funds, Mint reported citing two people aware of the development. NDB is a multilateral development bank that was created by governments to leverage capital for development purposes, especially infrastructure projects. Founded by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (collectively the BRICS countries) in July 2014, the bank was launched a year later with an initial authorized capital of $100 billion. Earlier in August, NIIF Fund of Funds (FoF) received a commitment of 667 crore (close to $100 million) from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), according to a disclosure on ADB’s website. NIIF’s Fund of Funds, according to the disclosure, is looking to raise about $1 billion to invest in up to 10 private equity funds managed by fund managers in India. Its portfolio funds are expected to provide primarily growth capital to firms across sectors, including green infrastructure, affordable housing, manufacturing and services. Of the targeted corpus, the fund has so far received commitments worth $700 million, including investments from NDB and ADB. In June 2018, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) had approved an equity investment of $100 million as part of FoF’s initial closing, committing a further investment of $100 million as part of phase II for the final closing.

Godrej Fund buys stake in Century’s Bengaluru office project for 850 crore

Godrej Fund Management has acquired a stake in a commercial office project in Bengaluru which is being developed by Century Real Estate Holdings Pvt. Ltd for around 850 crore, Mint reported citing two people familiar with the development. The 2.5 million sq. ft project, located within the Hebbal micro-market in the city’s northern part, is expected to be completed in three years. The investment has been made from Godrej Fund Management’s $450 million office investment and development platform. The fund, Godrej Build to Core-1, has received commitments of around $150 million from Allianz Real Estate and another $150 million from Dutch investor APF Asset Management. Godrej Fund Management gets around 35% of built-up area in the project against its stake acquisition. The capital will be used for constructing the project.

Qatar’s $320 billion wealth fund seeks to catch up on technology

Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is seeking to increase investments in technology companies, unfazed by recent declines in the sector, its chief executive officer told Bloomberg. The Qatar Investment Authority “will keep investing in technology as it is the most important sector right now," Mansoor Al Mahmoud told reporters in Doha Sunday. “We think we are underweight" and are “trying to catch up." Middle East sovereign wealth funds have been beefing up their investments in the industry after previously spending billions of dollars on trophy assets, such as London real estate and stakes in global banks. The QIA, which has assets of about $320 billion, hired Bank of America Corp. dealmaker Tristan Lacroix to bolster its push into technology, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg in September. While some technology startups have generated huge amounts of wealth over the past decade, companies like WeWork and Uber Technologies Inc. have been unable to match private market valuations. QIA has invested in companies including Foursquare Labs Inc., biotech firm Rubius Therapeutics Inc., Homology Medicines Inc., Thoughtspot Inc. and Grail Inc. as part of the expansion of its venture capital unit, people familiar with the matter said last December. The fund in 2017 said it would open an office in San Francisco to focus on the technology industry.

Zomato-UberEats deal: Cab Co may invest up to $200 m

Ride-hailing major Uber is in discussions to invest $100-200 million in fresh capital as part of the sale of its India food-delivery business to local rival Zomato, The Economic Times reported citing multiple people directly aware of the transaction. The investment will come into the combined entity of Zomato and UberEats, making the fund infusion an integral part of the share-swap deal between the two. If the merger goes through, Zomato and UberEats may emerge as the biggest by number of orders and size ahead of Swiggy in a hotly contested and cash-intensive online food delivery market. While the agreement is not signed yet, they are in a period of exclusivity, which means both parties cannot engage with others. Uber’s capital commitment can range between $100 million and $200 million, but this may be along with a few other investment funds. Zomato will go ahead with the acquisition only if Uber invests in the joint entity. To be sure, UberEats had earlier this year come close to selling its India business to Swiggy, again in a share-swap deal, but talks fell through on tax implications and other terms that weren’t agreeable to both parties. Before firming up sale talks with Swiggy, UberEats had been negotiating with Zomato but those discussions hadn’t fructified. The latest development of Zomato buying UberEats India comes on the back of the Gurgaonbased firm’s fundraising, which will see existing investor Ant Financial lead a $500 million round valuing the company at around $3 billion.

Adani Green may buy rest of Essel’s 480-MW solar assets

After selling 205 megawatt (MW) of its operational solar energy portfolio to the Adani Group, the Essel Group has reached an agreement to sell the remaining 480 MW — currently under construction — to Adani Green Energy, The Economic Times reported citing two people with direct knowledge of the development. Adani Green is big on renewable power and has over 5.5 GW of portfolio with almost half of it already operational. After acquiring Essel Group’s solar assets in Punjab, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh, the Adani Group has agreed in principle to buy out the remaining portfolio, once Essel Group operationalizes them. Adani Group had signed an agreement in August this year to acquire the 205 MW of operational solar assets for 1,300 crore. Essel Group’s total solar energy portfolio consists of 685 MW of installed and under-construction projects. At the time of deal, Essel Group said it was also in talks to sell the remaining assets.

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