Sony eyes stake in Mukesh Ambani’s Network18 Media. (Photo: Mint)
Sony eyes stake in Mukesh Ambani’s Network18 Media. (Photo: Mint)

Deals Buzz: Mahindra in final lap to sell solar portfolio

In other news, Sony Corp. is in talks to acquire a stake in the Indian television network controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, as the Japanese giant seeks to tap booming demand for content in the South Asian nation

Mumbai: Mint brings you your dose of the top deals news, reported from newsrooms across the country.

Mahindra in final lap to sell solar portfolio

Mahindra Susten, the renewable business arm of Mahindra group, has got binding offers from CLP India and the Piramal Group for its 160 megawatts (MW) solar assets, Mint reported citing two people aware of the development. Both parties have completed due diligence of the assets and submitted binding offers for Susten’s solar portfolio. The company is expected to take a call on the two offers over the next few weeks. The sale is part of the company’s plans to sell completed projects and recycle the capital to develop its project pipeline. On 1 August, Mint had reported that CLP India and the Piramal Group had shown interest in buying Susten’s solar portfolio. The transaction could fetch over 1,000 crore. Mahindra Susten, which builds and sells solar power projects, offers diversified services within the renewable energy and cleantech space and has commissioned over 967MW till date, with over 668MW of projects under execution. The firm’s services include turnkey hybrid solar power plants, utility-scale solar and rooftop solar products, operations and maintenance of solar projects, solar car charging stations, telecom tower solarization, analytics, engineering solutions, energy management and industrial build solutions.

Sony eyes stake in Mukesh Ambani’s Network18 Media

Sony Corp. is in talks to acquire a stake in the Indian television network controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, as the Japanese giant seeks to tap booming demand for content in the South Asian nation, Bloomberg reported citing people familiar with the matter. The Tokyo-based company is currently conducting due diligence on Ambani’s Network18 Media and Investments Ltd before any possible offer. Sony is considering several potential deal structures, including a bid for the company or a merger of its own Indian business with Network18’s entertainment channels. Talks are at a preliminary stage and may not result in a transaction. Shares of Network18 surged as much as 19% in Mumbai on Thursday, while unit TV18 Broadcast Ltd jumped 9.7%. While a successful deal may help Sony bolster its local offerings and take on upstart rivals such as Netflix Inc., it will give Ambani access to international content. The Indian tycoon’s wireless carrier, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, has spent almost $50 billion in the past few years on its network to disrupt India’s telecommunications industry and has been luring users by offering local and overseas programming.

Puranik Builders re-files for 900 crore IPO

Real estate developer Puranik Builders Ltd, which is primarily active in Mumbai and Pune re-filed the draft prospectus for its initial public offering (IPO), Mint reported. The company is expected to raise 900 crore through the initial share sale, a person directly aware of the development told Mint, requesting anonymity. The share sale, which is a combination of a fresh issue and offer for sale (OFS), will see Puranik raise 810 crore in fresh capital, of which 700 crore will be used to prepay or repay outstanding debt, and the rest for general corporate purposes. Puranik had a total debt of 1,291 crore as on 30 September, according to the draft prospectus. Its promoters, comprising Puranik Business Private Trust, Puranik Family Private Trust, Ravindra Puranik and Gopal Puranik, will offload 1.86 million shares via the OFS route. “The secondary component of the offer will be about 90 crore," the person cited above said. Puranik had filed for an IPO in June last year and had received approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on 5 October 2018. But, the Sebi approval expired as the company postponed its IPO plan. The investment bank arms of Edelweiss Financial Services Ltd and Axis Capital Ltd are advising Puranik on the IPO.

Global PE firms in race to buy Eureka Forbes

Global PE majors Blackstone, KKR, Apax and TPG Capital have joined Advent and Temasek-backed Crompton Greaves Consumer in the race to acquire a controlling stake in Eureka Forbes, the country’s largest maker of water purifiers and vacuum cleaners, The Economic Times reported citing people aware of the development. Preliminary discussions are currently on between the potential suitors and the Shapoorji Pallonji Group for a possible transaction, which may be around sale of control or an outright takeover. What has compounded the urgency for a stake sale is the liquidity troubles of the SP Group and the latter’s need to pay off the debt raised from listed arm Sterling & Wilson. On Tuesday, Forbes & Company — SP Group’s listed unit — informed exchanges that it planned to unlock the value of its 100% holding in Eureka Forbes through an initial public offering, stake dilution/ sale or a combination of the three. It told the exchanges that the company’s board had empowered the management to evaluate “appropriate mechanisms" for an eventual listing of Eureka Forbes. But an IPO appears difficult in the current environment, especially after the controversy over SP Group’s delay in repaying debt raised from Sterling & Wilson, the conglomerate’s listed solar EPC unit. The Pallonji family — which bought the business from the Tatas almost two decades ago — estimates the value of Eureka Forbes at 5,000-6,000 crore. The final contours of a deal are expected to evolve as the process gains momentum. Standard Chartered Bank and Nomura are believed to be getting ready to launch a formal sale process. Feelers have also gone out to Hindustan Unilever, which has a competing water purifier brand (Pureit), ITC and a few other consumer appliances and water and beverage companies.

Nazara plans 20 startup bets in 2020

Nazara Technologies is planning to invest $20 million in gaming companies in the next year, The Economic Times reported citing its chief executive Manish Agarwal. It plans to shortlist 20 technology-based gaming companies in which it will acquire strategic stake. These companies will primarily be based in India. Gaming has been in focus of late, especially after Mumbai-based fantasy gaming startup Dream11 became a unicorn (achieved a valuation of $1 billion) after it raised a $100 million round led by Steadview Capital. Before that, Bengaluru-based Mobile Premier League (MPL) raised $35.5 million from Sequoia Capital, GoVentures and Times Internet. Nazara has placed its investment strategy into three baskets, with the stage that companies are in driving capital infusion. “Those with an interesting but unproven idea, we will invest 1-2 crore and that will be risk capital," said Agarwal. For companies that are in need of growth capital, Nazara will invest about $1 million.

Versace, Cavalli seek new partners in India; Longchamp shuts shop

Trouble looms over the luxury retail sector as consolidations are forcing brands to seek out new partners or close shop here. Iconic luxury brands Versace and Roberto Cavalli are on the lookout for a new partner in India and French bridge-to-luxury brand Longchamp has shut shop, The Economic Times reported. Those in the know also said both luxury brands Versace and Cavalli, which are run by pan masala barons of the Chaurasia Group that owns Infinite Luxury Brands are looking for a new partner. They have one store each in Delhi’s DLF Emporio Mall. Delhi-based Bequest Group that runs Berluti, Tod's and Saint Laurent is said to be in the running for partnership with Cavalli. Longchamp had four outlets which have all wound up. It had originally announced six stores in India under a master franchise agreement with DOIT Retail in 2016. TM Lewin which had two stores, is also in the process of shutting down. The company that runs Longchamp has also decided to shelve plans to bring Alexander McQueen to India this year. McQueen was to have a mono-brand store in DLF's Chanakya Mall in Delhi for which letters of intent had been signed. High operating costs and soaring rentals are the bane of luxury retailers who have also noticed a 20-25% reduction in footfalls.

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