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

RIL unveils blockbuster $15 billion deal with Aramco

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is in the process of selling a 20% stake in the company’s flagship chemicals and refining business to Saudi Aramco in a deal valued at $15 billion, as the Indian company seeks to cut its massive debt and secure an assured supply of crude oil to its refineries, Mint reported. “Saudi Aramco will invest in Reliance for a 20% stake in oil-to-chemicals division at an enterprise value of $75 billion for the O2C (oil-to-chemicals) division, which will be demerged into a separate subsidiary in the next five years," Ambani told shareholders. In addition to the stake sale to Aramco, RIL will raise $1 billion from BP Plc, which will acquire a 49% stake in RIL’s petro-retailing business for 7,000 crore. While the investments are subject to due diligence, definitive agreements, regulatory and other approvals, the Saudi Aramco partnership will cover all of RIL’s refining and petrochemicals assets, including its 51% stake in the fuel retailing joint venture with BP. RIL and BP announced a joint venture to open a nationwide network of fuel retail outlets last week. Read more

No longer interested in Jet Airways, says Anil Agarwal

Chances of a revival of Jet Airways (India) Ltd faded, with billionaire Anil Agarwal’s Volcan Investment, which had submitted an expression of interest (EoI) for the grounded airline, deciding not to pursue the matter, Mint reported. In a statement on Monday, Agarwal said the EoI submitted by his family trust was exploratory in nature. “On further evaluation and considering other priorities, we intend to not pursue this further," he added. Agarwal said India is among the largest and fastest growing aviation markets in the world, while adding that he is optimistic that other airlines and investors will look at this opportunity. Jet Airways’ lenders, who have been trying to sell the airline as a going concern for the past five months, had received three EoIs on Saturday—from Volcan, Panama-based fund Avantulo Group and a Russian firm. The identity of the Russian firm couldn’t be ascertained. Read more

Kotak Special Situations Fund gets commitments worth $1 billion

Kotak Special Situations Fund, which aims to invest in distressed assets, has reached its final close with total commitments of $1 billion ( 7,000 crore) from investors, Mint reported. The fund, launched in February 2019, is anchored by a $500 million commitment from sovereign wealth fund Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and will be managed by Kotak Investment Advisors Ltd. Other investors are sovereign wealth funds and one very large family foundation based out of India. The capital could be deployed at any point over the next four years while the fund’s life will be of about ten years. The average ticket size could be anywhere between 350-700 crore and can even go up to 1,500 crore for transactions in which additional co-investment is possible. Read more

Fireside set to raise second fund worth $100 million

Bengaluru-based Fireside Ventures, an early-stage venture investment fund focused on consumer brands, is in the process of raising a $100-million second fund, Mint reported citing two people aware of the development. The corpus of the second fund will be more than double that of the first fund, said the people. The VC firm’s first fund had a corpus of 340 crore (approximately $48 million) and was backed by FMCG brands such as Unilever Ventures, Emami Ltd and ITC Ltd. Led by consumer industry veteran Kanwaljit Singh, besides Vinay Singh and V.S. Kannan Sitaram, Fireside Ventures was founded in 2017. It has invested across segments such as personal care, processed foods, lifestyle and home products. Its portfolio include the likes of Yoga Bar, Samosa Singh, Bombay Shaving Co., Mama Earth and Vahdam Teas. Read more

Shunwei, Westbridge Capital in talks to lead $50 million funding in Rapido

Bike taxi startup Rapido is in advanced discussions to close a $50 million round led by domestic investment firm Westbridge Capital and China’s Shunwei Capital, Mint reported citing two people aware of the matter. Existing investor Nexus Venture Partners is also participating in the round. The startup will be valued at $200 million post the round. US’s Skycatchr, AdvantEdge and Astarc Ventures, and Hong Kong-based Integrated Capital are Rapido’s other investors. The startup had raised $10 million in January in a round led by Nexus and Integrated Capital. Shunwei’s investment in Rapido also marks its first deal outside the fintech and content space in India. Spun-off from the investment arm of mobile phone maker Xiaomi, Shunwei has been one of India’s most active foreign investors at the early and growth stage, although it has so far focused on only a single sector. The firm has almost exclusively invested in content startups—gaming and social media among others. It has backed companies such as ShareChat, Dailyhunt, Pratilipi and Krazybee. Read more

Bengaluru-based Rupeek raises $30 mn from Bertelsmann, Accel, Sequoia Capital

Bengaluru-based Rupeek, which operates an online marketplace for gold loans, raised $30 million in a funding round led by investment firm Bertelsmann India. Existing investors Accel and Sequoia Capital India also participated in the round, Mint reported citing company statement. The fresh funds, which will be infused in two tranches, will be used towards product development and market expansion. Started in 2015 as an asset-backed lending marketplace, Rupeek leverages technology to operate with a branchless model. Offering a 30 minutes doorstep service for gold loans, Rupeek’s platform offers on-demand pickup and return of the valuables. Read more

CBS, Viacom in final stages of all-stock merger

CBS Corp and Viacom Inc are in the final stages of negotiation of an all-stock merger, Reuters reported citing two sources. Viacom shareholders will receive just above 0.595 CBS shares for each share they own, the final terms could still change. The two companies are controlled by National Amusements Inc, the holding company owned by billionaire Sumner Redstone and his family. Read more

Meesho raises $125M funding led by Naspers

Social commerce startup Meesho has raised $125 million, led by South African media and internet group Naspers, with participation from US technology company Facebook and existing investors SAIF Partners, Sequoia Capital, Shunwei Capital, RPS and Venture Highway, The Economic Times reported. Former Vodafone Group CEO Arun Sarin also participated in the round. In the current funding round, more than 80% has come from Naspers and Facebook. This round has been done at a valuation of about $700 million, according to a person familiar with the development. Meesho plans to invest the funds to further build its technology platform, launch new categories, and go deeper into areas outside of India’s major metro regions not serviced by traditional e-commerce marketplaces. Read more

Fullerton India Credit aims to raise $250-300 million via offshore loan

Singapore's Temasek-backed Fullerton India Credit Company Ltd (FICCL) is raising about $250-300 million in offshore syndicated loans to take credit solutions beyond large cities; The Economic Times reported citing three people with direct knowledge of the matter. Singapore’s DBS Bank and Japan’s MUFG and Mizuho banks are helping the company arrange the syndicated loan. The top-rated company could raise the loan at about 120-140 basis points over and above LIBOR. Rating company CARE rated Fullerton India Credit AAA grade earlier this year in May for domestic credit lines. The deal, which is expected to close in a week or two, is supposed to be under the external commercial borrowing limit, pegged at $750 million. Read more

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